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The seven-member State Liquor Board is appointed by the governor. The liquor board usually does not get involved in the issuance of “uncontested” liquor licenses. However, the State Liquor Board will conduct a hearing on a license application if the El Mirage City Council objects to approval of the license.
Location: The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that if a transferable liquor license has already been issued for a business in which a person-to-person transfer is being sought (e.g., a new owner of an existing bar or liquor store), location issues are not grounds for denying the transfer. In other cases except for private club licenses), an applicant must show that the “public convenience requires and that the best interest of the community will be substantially served by the issuance of the license.” Particular location restrictions include the following: With certain exceptions, no retailer’s license can be issued for any premises that are, at the time of application, within 300 feet of a church or of a public or private school building (grades K-12), or within 300 feet of a fenced recreational area adjacent to such school. The 300-foot restriction does not apply to temporary licenses, restaurant licenses, hotel/motel licenses, government licenses, fenced golf course areas, and grandfathered licenses.
If an application for a new location has been previously rejected by the Dept. of Liquor, no new application for the same location can be filed for at least one year after such rejection. This rule applies only if the State Liquor Board denies a license, not if an application is withdrawn by the applicant before a formal denial.
Type of Business: A liquor license cannot be issued if it would be “inappropriate” for the type of business. An inappropriate business is one that cannot clearly demonstrate that the sale of liquor is “directly connected to its primary purpose” and that such sale is not “merely incidental to its primary purpose.”