Every now and again a municipality is faced with the decision on
whether or not to allow a new establishment the rights to sell liquor.
Many questions are raised on where this potential establishment will be
located as well as how late this establishment will stay open. The City
of Park Ridge was recently confronted with these questions and had to
make a decision on whether or not to allow an establishment these
rights. Within their decision making process they decided to use the
Geographic Information System (GIS) as a method for how this late night
establishment might affect the local residential neighborhoods.
Considering the city already maintains a zoning map annually, the
only part left to do was to give a geographic location to all liquor
license locations as well as apply a one thousand foot buffer distance
to each location as a guide to how many residents might be affected
within this distance from the proposed establishment location. If the
buffer area of the proposed establishment location affected more
residential homes than the other existing liquor license locations, the
site may not be considered as optimal and thus may not pass.
Although GIS would not be making the final decision on whether this
establishment would be allowed, the ability to map out all existing
liquor license locations and their proximity to areas zoned as
residential was quite valuable as well as an efficient use of existing