Relates to licenses to sell liquor at retail for consumption on certain premises.
Ayes (39): Adams, Alesi, Ball, Bonacic, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Farley, Flanagan, Gallivan, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Johnson, Klein, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, Saland, Savino, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Storobin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (21): Addabbo, Avella, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Fuschillo, Gianaris, Hassell-Thomps, Kennedy, Krueger, McDonald, Oppenheimer, Parker, Perkins, Rivera, Sampson, Serrano, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin
Excused (2): Espaillat, Huntley
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the alcoholic beverage control law, in relation to licenses to sell liquor at retail for consumption on certain premises
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to correct an unintended consequence of legislation attempting to further define the concept of "exclusively occupied" as a church, synagogue or other place of worship for purposes of the 200 foot rule. The bill would clarify that buildings occupied as houses of worship may enter into "shared space" arrangements with catering tenants where the primary benefit to the religious congregation is financial support for the congregation, while still retaining their status as a religious institution.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision 7 of section 64 of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law is amended by the indicated changes to Paragraphs c and d-1.
JUSTIFICATION: The alcohol beverage control law requires that in order for a building occupied as a place of worship to benefit from the 200-foot rule, or from the "Church-Venue Exception" to that rule (which excludes from application of the rule catering businesses operating in a church building within 200 feet of another church or school), the building must remain "exclusively" occupied as a place of worship.
In 2007, legislation was passed listing activities that would be regarded as consistent with the conduct of a building as a place of worship. The list of activities was not exhaustive and requires additional clarification to allow religious organizations that enter into shared space agreements with caterers to retain the status of their buildings as a churches, synagogues or other places of worship.
Many religious organizations in this state that own their places of worship, including places of worship with architectural and historical significance, are finding it increasingly difficult to afford annual maintenance and repairs of their buildings. Faced with such difficulties, religious organizations often share their space with third party entities in order to produce much-needed supplementary revenue, rather than sell their buildings and property. While the passage of special legislation can exempt a particular property from the application of the 200 foot rule, such legislation is impractical as a solution for every religious organization that enters into a shared space arrangement with a caterer designed to benefit the congregation, in particular by allowing the religious organization to maintain ownership of its house of worship and keep it in good repair..
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7686 IN SENATE June 13, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. LIBOUS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the alcoholic beverage control law, in relation to licenses to sell liquor at retail for consumption on certain premises THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraphs (c) and (d-1) of subdivision 7 of section 64 of the alcoholic beverage control law, as amended by chapter 463 of the laws of 2009, are amended to read as follows: (c) the measurements in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision are to be taken in straight lines from the center of the nearest entrance of the premises sought to be licensed to the center of the nearest entrance of such school, church, synagogue or other place of worship or to the center of the nearest entrance of each such premises licensed and oper- ating pursuant to this section and sections sixty-four-a, sixty-four-b, sixty-four-c, and/or sixty-four-d of this article; except, however, that no renewal license shall be denied because of such restriction to any premises so located which were maintained as a bona fide hotel, restau- rant, catering establishment or club on or prior to December fifth, nineteen hundred thirty-three; and, except that no license shall be denied to any premises at which a license under this chapter has been in existence continuously from a date prior to the date when a building on the same street or avenue and within two hundred feet of said premises has been occupied exclusively as a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship; and except that no license shall be denied to any premises, which is within five hundred feet of three or more existing premises licensed and operating pursuant to this section and sections sixty-four-a, sixty-four-b, sixty-four-c, and/or sixty-four-d of this article, at which a license under this chapter has been in existence continuously on or prior to November first, nineteen hundred ninety- three; and except that this subdivision shall not be deemed to restrict the issuance of a hotel liquor license to a building used as a hotel and in which a restaurant liquor license currently exists for premises which serve as a dining room for guests of the hotel and a caterer's licenseEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD16244-01-2 S. 7686 2
to a person using
[the permanent]catering facilities [of]LOCATED IN a BUILDING OCCUPIED AS A church, synagogue or other place of worship pursuant to a written agreement between such person and the [authori- ties]RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION in charge of such [facilities]BUILDING, WHERE THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION RETAINS BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP OF THE PREMISES. The liquor authority, in its discretion, may authorize the removal of any such licensed premises to a different location on the same street or avenue, within two hundred feet of said school, church, synagogue or other place of worship, provided that such new location is not within a closer distance to such school, church, synagogue or other place of worship. (d-1) Within the context of PARAGRAPH (A) OF this subdivision, a building occupied as a place of worship does not cease to be "exclusive- ly" occupied as a place of worship by incidental uses that are not of a nature to detract from the predominant character of the building as a place of worship, such uses which include, but which are not limited to: the conduct of legally authorized games of bingo or other games of chance held as a means of raising funds for the not-for-profit religious organization which conducts services at the place of worship or for other not-for-profit organizations or groups; use of the building for fund-raising performances by or benefitting the not-for-profit religious organization which conducts services at the place of worship or other not-for-profit organizations or groups; the use of the building by other religious organizations or groups for religious services or other purposes; the conduct of social activities by or for the benefit of the congregants; the use of the building for meetings held by organizations or groups providing bereavement counseling to persons having suffered the loss of a loved one, or providing advice or support for conditions or diseases including, but not limited to, alcoholism, drug addiction, cancer, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, or Alzheimer's disease; the use of the building for blood drives, health screenings, health informa- tion meetings, yoga classes, exercise classes or other activities intended to promote the health of the congregants or other persons; and use of the building by [non-congregant members of the community]NON-CONGREGANTS for private social, CORPORATE OR CHARITABLE functions REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THOSE FUNCTIONS HAVE A NEXUS WITH THE ACTIVITIES OF THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION OTHER THAN PROVIDING FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR THAT ORGANIZATION. The building occupied as a place of worship does not cease to be "exclusively" occupied as a place of worship where the not- for-profit religious organization occupying the place of worship accepts the payment of funds to defray costs related to another party's use of the building OR FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.