Baltimore takes aim at liquor stores after Freddie Gray riots

shelbycourtland

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Many of the stores do not meet zoning laws and Baltimore needs alternatives, such as grocery stores to improve impoverished neighborhoods, Rawlings-Blake said.

“I do not believe it is appropriate for the city to provide money for these non-conforming liquor stores to rebuild as liquor stores in these locations,” she told a news conference in the Park Heights neighborhood, which city officials say has the highest concentration of liquor stores in Maryland.

Nearly 400 businesses across Baltimore, about 40 of them liquor stores, were damaged or destroyed in rioting after the April 27 funeral of Gray, a 25-year-old black man. He died of spinal cord injuries allegedly suffered while in police custody.

About two dozen liquor outlets are thought to be in residential communities for which they are not properly zoned.

Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s health commissioner, said the African-American majority city of 620,000 people had twice the per-capita number…

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