OPINION: Updated, 6/1/2012: As you travel on Redmond Way, just past Key Bank in the center of town, you'll see Redmond's new State liquor store - a beautiful, large brick building with high beam ceilings, built in the 1920's by Mayor Bill Brown. It's a city Landmark.
Passing the liquor store, you can't miss the loud, large red signs that stick out from all angles. Even Mayor John Marchione agreed during Tuesday's Council meeting saying the "sign is ugly". Mayor Marchione explained the signage by stating:
"Like any other developer, they pushed back the letter of the law without having to make any other expense."I spoke 4 minutes to the Mayor and council about how upset I and some of my neighbors were with the signage and it's location in a city Landmark building. It surprised me a State could relocate a liquor store and not give public notice or allow comment. Unbeknown-st to the public, John Redal, Dir. of Retail Operations, State Liquor Control Board said "Mayor John Marchione received a 20-day written notice on October 21, 2009 from the State Liquor Control Board." (click photo to enlarge the complete letter). The notice said:
"....This new store (on 16839 Redmond Way) is tentatively scheduled to open in January of 2010.... If you wish to comment on the proposed location, please notify us within 20 days from the date of this letter, along with a statement of your concerns."At the council meeting (starting on minute 10), Mayor Marchione admitted: "I did receive a letter giving me 20 days about the location of the liquor store, only asking if it was a good site or not." The Mayor commented: "I did not respond because it's an appropriate use of the building". The Mayor never called the Liquor Board to ask for signage considerations or ask for a location different from the 90 year old Landmark.
I asked John Redal if a call from Mayor Marchione would have made a difference. He said the Mayor never called but "because no lease was signed at the time of the letter" he could probably have given some consideration to a change in sign color. Mr. Redal went onto say, "In hindsight, I wish I'd known because green colors on signs were a possibility." I don't recall if Redal commented on options for number of signs, their size or design.
Mr. Redal said that one Contract Liquor store location "was changed due to community concerns with the location being too close to a school." He went onto say, "As a responsible retailer we are, we would always consider the communities input, prior to the location being established, thus the reason for our notification process".
Mayor John Marchione summarized, in council chambers: "The History of Redmond is colorful because Mayor Brown DID own liquor stores and saloons. So, I actually find it kind of an inside joke that his garage became a liquor store. As Councilmember Myers says, it's the use that counts..."
Opinion By Bob Yoder
Photos by Yoder
6/1/12, Rev. for clarity.
Sources: Redmond Council Meeting, 5/18 2010. (scroll to minute 10 to watch audience comments) This meeting tape is in city archives.
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