Oregon State Law allows a local government recommendation prior to licensing businesses to sell alcoholic beverages. From the date that a license application is received, the City of Portland has 45 days to make a recommendation to the OLCC on new applications and 60 days on renewals. The City has designated the Chief of Police with the authority to make the recommendations on the City's behalf to OLCC. The Police Bureau’s Drug and Vice Division coordinates with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Bureau of Development Services’ Noise Control office to determine one of the following recommendations:
- Favorable – no legal basis for denial or significant opposition identified.
- Favorable with Restrictions – restrictions is in the public interest or convenience.
- No-Endorsement – Substantial neighborhood opposition or evidence that noise will be a problem. Typically includes a request that public testimony be heard by the OLCC.
- Unfavorable – valid grounds for denial as provided by liquor laws.
Within the 30-day public comment period, ONI notifies neighbors, neighborhood associations, business district associations, and neighborhood coalition offices when the City receives an application for a new liquor outlet. Substantial public opposition will impact the City's recommendation to OLCC and can influence the decision by OLCC, although the OLCC has the final decision whether to grant or deny the license. In addition to the notification to neighbors, ONI can assist neighbors in how to prepare to give effective testimony at OLCC meeting hearings regarding issues related to liquor license.
The neighborhood and business associations play an important role in problem solving with proposed and existing liquor outlets. Some neighborhoods enter into preventive good neighbor agreements with all liquor outlets in their area in order to establish clear expectations and develop a good working relationship.
All liquor licenses are regulated by the OLCC and are renewed annually so neighbors have an opportunity to provide input and problem-solve. With a Good Neighbor Agreement the community and the business operation develop a way of open communication that allows for effective problem solving.
If you are experiencing problems with a liquor outlet and you do not have a good neighbor agreement, here are some tips for you to follow:
- Contact the police at 911 or non-emergency 503-823-3333 if you witness illegal activity.
- Contact the business directly - they may be able to resolve the problem immediately.
- Notify your Neighborhood Association and ONI Crime Prevention for help.
- File a complaint with the OLCC at 503-872-5000. (See Incident Report)
- For noise complaints, contact the Noise Control reporting line at 503-823-7350.
- Maintain a log with date, time and location specifics. Documentation of the problems can assist the OLCC and Police investigations.