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Plainfield officials review liquor code

Staff seeks simplified ordinance after years of additions

PLAINFIELD – Plainfield trustees are evaluating the village’s liquor code after a staff review came to the conclusion the law had become too complicated as modifications were made over the years.

The village board discussed the proposed changes, deemed by Plainfield Police Chief John Konopek as a “re-do” of the entire section of liquor-related classifications, at a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night.

Police department attorney Joan Meyers and staff are proposing to cut the classifications roughly in half.

“The ordinance had not been reviewed since 2007, and over time what was happening as applicants came forward and asked for specific classifications that maybe we didn’t have, we would then modify the ordinance to accommodate that request,” Meyers said. “As a result, the current ordinance now has 31 separate classifications, making it difficult not only for the licensees but certainly for staff to process any request for a license.”

The primary focus was then to consolidate many of the classifications to decrease the total number of classifications to 15, and eliminate some definitions that simply were not used. Staff also worked to clarify details of the classifications.

For the most part, trustees were in support of the draft document if some minor changes were made. Nearly every trustee had suggestions that Meyers said will be worked into the next draft.

Additionally, Trustee Brian Wojowski asked fellow board members and Konopek their thoughts on requiring video surveillance cameras in establishments that wish to sell liquor. Wojowski, a police officer himself, said he brought it up in light of Will County officials discussing a proposal to add video and reduce hours of operation among bars in its jurisdiction.

Meyers said the code shouldn’t adversely affect anybody who currently has a license, aside from small cost variances.

Wojowski noted video surveillance clears up matters where two sides give different stories to law enforcement.

Konopek said most establishments in the village have video surveillance, including some that have live webcams. He said the video does indeed help clear up things for law enforcement.

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