Hearing officer to consider Glenwood Springs liquor requests
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The city of Glenwood Springs has disbanded its local liquor licensing board in favor of a single hearing officer who will review liquor license requests.
City council agreed Thursday to appoint local attorney Angela Roff to serve as the city’s new liquor license hearing officer.
The contract calls for Roff to be paid $225 per hour for up to four hours a month to process new liquor license applications, yearly renewals and transfers.
Roff started her own law practice in Glenwood Springs last year. She also works as a contract prosecutor for the city of Rifle and the town of New Castle.
Previously, the Glenwood Springs council appointed a citizen review board to hear license requests for retail liquor stores, bars and restaurants, beer and wine sales at grocery and convenience stores, and special events.
However, the liquor board had a hard time keeping a quorum for its regular meetings, even after it was downsized last year from seven members to five, Glenwood Springs City Clerk Robin Unsworth said.
Although Colorado statutes govern liquor licenses, municipal and county clerk’s offices serve as the official licensing agency for local liquor establishments.
Smaller towns often have the town council serve as the review board, while larger municipalities typically have a separate review panel.
“One of the alternatives is to use a hearing officer rather than a formal review board,” Unsworth said. “Council decided it would be more efficient and reliable to do it that way.”
Hearing officers are typically lawyers or judges, she said. A special committee reviewed the applications for the hearing officer position and recommended Roff for the appointment.
Previously, the liquor review board made recommendations on licenses to city council, which had the final decision. Under the new arrangement, decisions will rest with the hearing officer. Appeals can be made to the city council.
Since the city has been without a liquor review board, Unsworth said there is a backlog of license applications for Roff to consider.
“We have three new requests, two transfers and a major special event pending right now,” Unsworth said. “It will be a busy month to start.”
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