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Council wants OLCC to block food cart liquor license

City worries that Cartlandia license could set a bad precedent
by: Christopher Onstott Portland’s City Council could ask the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to block a liquor license for a pod of food carts on Southeast 82nd Avenue. Like these carts on Southwest Fourth Avenue, the city worries that giving the food carts liquor licenses could lead to problems and neighborhood complaints in the future.

Three weeks ago, Portland's City Council voted to oppose giving liquor licenses for food carts. This week, the council plans to ask the state to block the only application for a food cart liquor license.

On Wednesday, the council votes on a resolution opposing a liquor license for the Cartlandia food carts at 8145 S.E. 82nd Ave. It's the first liquor license sought for Portland's 698 food carts and city officials are worried that it could set a bad precedent and lead to 'negative impacts' on surrounding neighborhoods.

Portland's Office of Neighborhood Involvement and the police bureau are asking the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to reject Cartlandia's application for a liquor license.

'The licensing of Cartlandia will set a precedent for the licensing of the other 698 entities (and growing) to be licensed without clear guidelines,' wrote Theresa Marchetti, the city's liquor license specialist in a Feb. 23 memo to the council.

(• Click Here to read the city's resolution on the Cartlandia liquor license.)

On Feb. 8, the council agreed to oppose any liquor licenses for food carts in the city. An opinion by the state attorney general's office told the OLCC that there was no reason to prohibit liquor licenses for food carts. The city opposes them because the carts cannot control what customers do with the drinks once they purchase them and go to common seating areas or outside the food service area.

Cartlandia is a group of about a dozen food carts set up near the Springwater Trail along 82nd Avenue. Cartlandia owner Roger Goldingay applied for a liquor license in June 2011. City officials said that because of 'transitions in staff,' the city did not take a formal position on the license by an OLCC deadline, giving the application a default 'favorable' recommendation.

Now the city wants to block Cartlandia's OLCC application.