Little Rock attorney Mark Stodola this week wrote a letter to the state alcohol beverage control board in behalf of the Heights Neighborhood Association to express opposition to a liquor license application for a proposed nightclub at University Mall.
Stodola has made it known that he is considering a run for mayor this year, so we are making the full text of the letter available after the jump.
June 19, 2006
Mr. Robert S. Moore
Alcoholic Beverage Control Division
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
1515 West Seventh Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
On behalf of the Heights Neighborhood Association please let me express our opposition to the current application which is pending before you considering the transference of a liquor license for a nightclub to be located within University Mall.
Our opposition stems from two principal areas. First, let me mention that as we understand it the specific permit involved would allow the nightclub to stay open until 5:00am in the morning. Considering the adjacency of various midtown neighborhoods to this location we find no valid reason on why this nightclub and this permit should be allowed until 5:00am in the morning. Having been a former Prosecutor for the capitol City, I can personally attest to the fact that nothing good usually happens between 2:00am and 5:00am in the morning.
Secondly, you should be aware that Simon Properties, the owner of the University Mall has made several commitments and pledges to redevelop the Mall recognizing its currently high vacancy rate and its general and continuing dilapidation in a vital Midtown area of our City. We do not feel that Simon Properties currently has honored those commitments and do not feel that renting out a portion of the Mall for an all night nightclub is in keeping with their pledges to the City. Indeed, should Simon Properties come forward with a redevelopment plan which deals with restaurants and entertainment venues, we certainly would be willing to consider withdrawing our opposition in favor or a true and sensitive redevelopment that is a compliment to the City. There have been previous studies done by a variety of entities which do recognize the importance of developing the Midtown area with a variety of mixed uses including entertainment venues.
Lastly, let me suggest that the transference of a private club permit from one location to another should take into account the proximity of other liquor licenses in the area. We feel it is important that these be disbursed throughout the City and not to be concentrated in one particular area. We don't currently feel there is validity to transferring this permit to this particular location at this time.
We hope that you will take these factors into consideration as you consider whether to approve or deny this application.
On behalf of the Heights Neighborhood Association, thank you very much.
Heights Neighborhood Association