Proposed convenience store legislation discussed at Utica committee meeting

The proposed legislation would give the city more regulatory control over these types of businesses, some of which, residents say are a magnet for criminal activity.

Posted: Sep 14, 2020 11:53 PM

UTICA, NY – Members of the Utica Common Council, along with other city officials, met Monday evening for what’s called a Committee of the Whole meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss proposed legislation on convenience stores put forth before the common council.

By the time the meeting was done, there were more questions than answers.

The proposed legislation would give the city of Utica regulatory control over certain types of businesses like convenience stores.

They want to make sure these stores do not have a negative impact on the neighborhood they are located in.

Some residents have voiced concerns that some of these businesses – not all though – are a magnet for criminal activities. Usually late at night.

Councilman Joe Betrus of the 6th district agreed.

“I think this is where the problem lies. After dark, people are hanging around these corners at most of these stores. In my opinion, there should be a 10 o’clock cut off for all these inner-city stores. That’s it.”

5th district Councilman Delvin Moody said the council needs to proceed with caution.

“My problem with that is that you could potentially limit economic development. Let’s say I want to open a corner store near Utica College or MVCC. If I’m a legitimate business open to midnight, maybe on the weekends, I can see a scenario where that’s beneficial to college students.”

In the end, it was decided to send the legislation back so modifications requested by council members could be made to it.

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