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City wants OLCC rule changed for outdoor liquor licenses

Proposal could hit future licenses for local food carts

Portland city officials have asked Oregon's Liquor Control Commission to alter its rules governing liquor licenses for 'exterior areas,' a change that could limit possible future liquor license for the city's food carts.

The proposed rule change would prohibit the OLCC from issuing annual licenses for exterior services, such as food carts. Instead, the city wants the state agency to issue temporary licenses 'where appropriate.' The proposal was filed April 12.

Under the proposed rule, if a business failed to properly supervise its OLCC-licensed outdoor drinking area, the license could be revoked.

• Click here to read the city's OLCC rule change petition.

OLCC members will take public comments on the proposed rule change until 5 p.m. May 11. People can send written comments on the change to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, 9079 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., Portland 97222; Attention: Jennifer Huntsman; by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; by fax, 503-872-5110.

The OLCC approved in mid-March a license allowing the Cartlandia food cart pod on Southeast 82nd Avenue to sell beer and wine. The approval came three weeks after Portland's City Council asked the agency to reject the license. City commissioners said in January and February that they didn't want the OLCC to grant licenses to food carts before the city was able to create guidelines to prevent problems in surrounding neighborhoods.

The license was granted to Roger Goldingay and Carol Otis, for the pod of about a dozen food carts at 8145 S.E. 82nd Ave. The approval included six restrictions that call for the alcohol to be served only in one fenced spot - a 'beer garden-like' structure - with monitoring. The alcohol could be served between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Entertainment would be prohibited in the area between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. each day.

Cartlandia's owners applied in June 2011 for the first food carts liquor license. City officials said the OLCC action could open the door to licenses for the nearly 698 food carts. 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.

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.