Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton

6:04 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

West Louisville Neighborhoods Seek One-Year Ban on Transitional Housing

Homeowners in two West Louisville neighborhoods are fed up with the influx of transitional housing and are seeking to ban such units in their part of the city for at least a year.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, is sponsoring the ordinance, which would impose a 12-month moratorium on granting any permits for the construction or establishment of such units in the Shawnee and Chickasaw neighborhoods.

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10:41 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Louisville Metro Council Eliminates 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales

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After a long and emotional debate, the Louisville Metro Council moved to outlaw alcohol purchases at retail package stores after 2 a.m. by a 15-7 vote.

The ordinance effectively eliminates special licenses allowing sales up to 4 a.m. except for bars and restaurants in an effort aimed at curbing crime and attracting economic development.

Council members kicked the measure back to committee last month over objections to an exemption that would have still allowed beer to be sold up to 4 a.m.

During the council meeting Thursday evening, the debate centered on whether to exempt businesses such as Thortons gas stations, which sell alcoholic beverages but make most of their money on other items.

A committee amendment proposed allowing retailers where non-alcoholic beverages make up less than 50 percent of their revenue to avoid the ban. But supporters of the ordinance argued that would ultimately dilute the measure.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, who sponsored the measure, says the concentration of liquor and convenience stores in her west Louisville district are the source of blight, crime and deter development.

"I have to leave my neighborhood to get the amenities that you enjoy every day," said Hamilton. "We can't get the businesses to locate in our neighborhoods. So we've been trying to clean up our neighborhoods and revitalize our neighborhoods. We've been investing millions of dollars block-by-block, protest letters and I don't know how much else we have to do."

Opponents of the measure included local liquor store owners and convenience chain representatives who said it was unfair to allow bars and restaurants to serve alcohol after 2 a.m. They also say a liquor ban is a scapegoat and won't address the real problems in the West End or other areas.

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11:18 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Louisville Ordinance to Prohibit 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales Sent Back to Committee

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In a bipartisan decision, the Louisville Metro Council voted 16-10 to send an ordinance limiting when liquor and wine can be sold back to committee.

The legislation would've prohibited liquor stores from selling wine and distilled spirits from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., but a proposed amendment that sought to ban late night beer sales put the measure on hold.

Joined by constituents who favor the bill, Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, argued that cutting off alcohol sales at 2 a.m. would help reduce crime and spur economic development in the West End, where most of the late-night liquor stores are concentrated.

"We have to take control of our neighborhoods (and) this is a related issue," Hamilton said. "There are 13 districts here that don't have this problem. Seven of us have an inordinate amount of package liquor stores that have with them the alcohol and drug-related arrests."

But the exemption of beer sales in the ordinance did not sit well with many council members and was roundly criticized by Democrats and Republicans for being unfair to businesses.

"The present ordinance before us deals strictly with packaged liquor and wine. It does not deal with beer, and beer is alcohol. It’s as simple as that," said Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26, adding he agrees with lawmakers about the problems those stores create. "If a person can’t buy their vodka or their bourbon, they are going to turn to buy a beer. So if we are going to truly address the problem, the problem needs to be addressed across the board and that is alcohol sales after 2 a.m."

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6:00 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Liquor Store Owners Propose Wet-Dry Vote for Fourth Street Live in Response to 4 a.m. Ban

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A community activist and a pair of liquor store owners are proposing to hold a wet-dry vote in the precinct containing Fourth Street Live in response to Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton’s bill to eliminate 4 a.m. sales.

Hamilton's ordinance is set to have a vote before the full council this Thursday, which she maintains is aimed at reducing crime and improving the quality of life.

But crime statistics obtained by WFPL show a relatively low number of alcohol-related incidents in Hamilton's district compared to others, and arrests decline during the hours being targeted by the bill.

The vast majority of liquor stores that carry special licenses allowing 4 a.m. alcohol sales are concentrated in west Louisville.

Critics of the measure argue it is a contradiction, however, for sponsors to go after package retail stores that sell liquor and wine while exempting beer. The group also points out that if alcohol-related incidents are one of the issues Hamilton and others are concerned about then the city's entertainment district needs to be targeted.

"A lot of times when I’m driving home at five o’clock in the morning when I close my store at four, I see people weaving all over the road when they’ve just gotten out of bars," says Barbara Deel, who owns Lucky Junior’s in the Portland neighborhood.

Statistics provided by Metro Police to the council found the highest number of alcohol-related incidents occurred in Councilman David Tandy's district, which covers the Russell and Smoketown neighborhoods, but most of downtown including Fourth Street Live.

Since August 2012, just under 1,500 alcohol involved incidents were reported in Tandy's district compared to just under 400 in Hamilton's area. The data shows more incidents involving alcohol took place in Councilman Tom Owen's district covering the Highlands than in Hamilton's mostly West End district.

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7:59 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Louisville Liquor Store Owners, Residents Question Beer Exemption in Banning 4 a.m. Alcohol Sales

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Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, is confident her bill eliminating alcohol sales at retail package stores after 2 a.m. will pass this week. 

The ordinance sailed through the council's Public Safety committee with a unanimous vote last Tuesday, and supporters maintain it's a way to improve quality of life in the West End.

According to city statistics, close to 70 percent of stores that carry special licenses allowing 4 a.m. liquor sales are located in west Louisville neighborhoods and the Newburg area.

Hamilton's bill does not apply to restaurants and bars. It also exempts 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. licenses for beer sales, which has been roundly criticized by liquor store owners as selective targeting and some constituents are questioning its effectiveness.

In June, a state law took effect dividing those special licenses between beer and other alcoholic beverages such as liquor and wine. Asked why the ordinance banning 4 a.m. sales doesn't include beer, Hamilton admits that would encompass a larger number of businesses outside of her district.

"If we eliminate (beer) we're dealing with 400 to 600 businesses in the city. So this is an easier bite of the apple right now," she says. "I've had people say we should have included it all. But I'm not trying to get rid of it, I'm trying to control the quality of life issues in our neighborhoods."

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2:57 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton Proposes Ending Liquor Sales After 2 a.m.

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, is proposing an ordinance to end alcohol sales after 2 a.m. at retail package stores as a way to help reduce crime.

But some community activists argue council members are using liquor sales as a scapegoat.

Over two-dozen liquor stores carry special licenses that allow alcohol sales up to 4 a.m., and the vast majority are concentrated in west Louisville.

The bill would exempt businesses such as bars and restaurants, and is likely to affect 24-hour convenience stores.

Hamilton did not respond to our request for comment, but one of the bill's five co-sponsors, Councilman David James, D-6, says police statistics do show a heavy concentration of crime surrounding stores that sell alcohol for extended hours.

"Eighty-nine percent of the businesses that sell alcohol in retail package form after 2 a.m. are located in west Louisville. And around those areas we have a high number of alcohol related criminal offenses," he says.

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Local News
12:24 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Dirt Bowl Basketball Tournament Returns to West Louisville

Joined by community leaders, lawmakers and local athletes, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the return of The Dirt Bowl basketball tournament to Shawnee Park this summer.

The competition has been a West End tradition for over four decades, but has been on hiatus due to a lack of funding and sponsorship. Organizers were able to briefly revive the Dirt Bowl in 2009 and city leaders have been working to resurrect the tournament permanently.

"It was a significant loss for Louisville and a specific loss for western Louisville," says Fischer said. "Generations of families came here to sit on bleachers, to share good times and to watch some serious hoops."

The Dirt Bowl was created by community activist Ben Watkins in 1969 as a way to bring basketball and family-style picnics together. Over the decades, the tournament has hosted local and national basketball stars such as Jim McDaniels, Dan Issel, Wes Unseld, Darryl Griffith and Derek Anderson.

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12:24 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Council Members, Public Works Officials Seek Help Catching Illegal Dumpers

Joined by Public Works officials, Louisville Metro Council members Marianne Butler, D-15, and Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, called on residents to help them crackdown on illegal dumping across the city.

Butler and Hamilton announced on Friday that the city will install 19 new state of the art cameras over the summer in problem areas, which have seen repeated cases of trash and other junk items being dropped off improperly. The cameras are designed to be mobile and will be moved periodically in the case of violators moving to different locations.

Butler says illegal dumping is a perennial problem in many neighborhoods, and the public can help track violators by visiting the city's website to report an incident and identify illegal dumpers caught on camera.

 "Hopefully with this we will stop the dumping," she says. "We are asking residents to go to the website. Look at the photos that are on it and help us prosecute the people who are devaluing your neighborhood. Because these people are dumping in everybody's neighborhood."

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