The Council’s License Committee approved an ordinance from Ald. Ed Burke (14) that would make it legal for licensed peddlers to sell flowers from their carts or vehicles, while Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) received some pushback for re-upping 19 liquor moratoriums along streets in Logan Square.  

Attendance: Chair Emma Mitts (37) Rod Sawyer (6), Gregory Mitchell (7), David Moore (17), Matt O’Shea (19), Michael Scott, Jr. (24), Mike Zalewski (23), Michael Scott, Jr. (24), Roberto Maldonado (26),  Walter Burnett (27), Chris Taliaferro (29), Ariel Reboyras (30), Scott Waguespack (32), Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35), Marge Laurino (39), Michele Smith (43), Tom Tunney (44), James Cappleman (46), Deb Silverstein (50).

According to Ald. Burke, the prohibition on selling flowers on the street dates back to 1943, when then-Finance Chairman JJ Duffy of the city’s 19th Ward championed a ban to eliminate competition to his floral shop, JJ Florals. “No, I was not there,” Burke joked, adding that he learned of the ban when someone went to him to get a peddler’s license to sell flowers but was told that it was illegal.

Under the municipal code, a peddler is defined as a person who moves from place to place and sells goods from some kind of vehicle or cart, according to Matt Link, a staff attorney for the Finance Committee, who was on hand for testimony. The item received unanimous approval.

The committee also approved Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa’s (35) nineteen ordinances renewing various liquor moratoriums in his ward. All of which, according to him, had either been put in place by his predecessor, Rey Colon, or were along streets recently incorporated during the ward remap. Ald. Ramirez-Rosa said he was renewing the moratoriums to give more local control to his community.

“In a number of instances I have heard from constituents and members of the business community that are concerned about the number of establishments that are pulling liquor licences,” Ald. Ramirez-Rosa testified. “So, placing these moratoriums back in effect will ensure that we have local community control, and that we have a level of accountability through me as the elected official of that ward.”

Ald. Ramirez-Rosa held one of those items, an ordinance that would have renewed the moratorium on North Milwaukee Avenue, from North Kedzie Avenue to North Kimball Avenue, at the request of Pat Doerr of the Hospitality Business Association, who testified at yesterday’s meeting. The decision to hold the item was made prior to the meeting, Ald. Ramirez-Rosa said, after he had a meeting with Doerr.

“We respect aldermanic prerogative,” Doerr explained that he was speaking more as a point of information, than as a witness in opposition to the tavern licenses. He thanked Ald. Ramirez-Rosa for holding off on the moratorium on Milwaukee Avenue, which he said would have prevented a new woman-owned business planned on that commercial strip.

But Doerr requested that the aldermen revisit the issue, arguing the new tavern prohibitions would prevent the ability to open new craft breweries and tasting rooms, which he called a “pretty popular asset.”

Most of the other liquor license items on the agenda lifted moratoriums on tavern licences, including one on North Clybourn Avenue in the 2nd Ward to allow brewpubs on Goose Island.

“We are the Napa Valley of craft brewing,” Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) said of the growth of craft breweries in the area. The ordinance he sponsored, which the committee approved, would give those breweries the ability to serve alcohol on site at breweries along the west side of Clybourn Avenue, between Willow Street and Cortland Avenue.