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SF Liquor License, Expensive Process

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The Vault nightclub in Sioux Falls will remain open after having quite the scare at a recent city council meeting, their liquor license could have been taken away.

Only a limited number of liquor licenses are offered per year and is based on population, which is determined by a census done in Sioux Falls on even numbered years.

Right now, there are 13 buyers on the waiting list and only six liquor licenses are available and the process costs money and time.

"Two to four months," said Palmer.

Jamie Palmer, licensing specialist in Sioux Falls, said there's a series of steps to get a liquor license.

First, a person interested would have to fill out an application to be put on a waiting list, and pay a $1,500.00 non-refundable fee.

Once it's your turn, you then have to find out if you need a conditional use permit.

"Basically a zoning permit that's granted by the planning commission and it's granting the approval of the location for the alcohol use," said Palmer.

If a permit is needed and once it's granted, you would pay just over $192,360.00, in return for your liquor license.

"As long as they follow the rules and they don't have complaints and such like that, as long as they pay their annual renewal fee, life will go on," said Palmer.

The Vault's scare happened when complaints from neighboring businesses filed in and caught the City Council's attention.

In the end, the council renewed the club's license, but Councilman Kenny Anderson Jr., said the renewal comes with a message.

"We've set a barrier, we've set a point for them now to work together, or in one year, we're going to have to make a decision over there," said Anderson Jr.

Anderson Jr. said The Vault's dilemma is a lesson for businesses in Sioux Falls.

"Whether you're the first business there or businesses have grown around you, we all need to work together, we are a community," said Anderson Jr.

When applying for a license of any sort, Palmer said as long as people follow the rules, their license will be safe.

"Encourage them to review the laws and ordinances that the city has in place for their type of license that they're applying for," said Palmer.

Liquor licenses are rarely taken away in Sioux Falls, but that doesn't mean any concerns aren't taken seriously.

Leading up to the council's decision to renew The Vault's license, many of the members went to the club and talked to neighboring businesses to try and reach an understanding.

There are currently 105 liquor licenses in Sioux Falls.

Click on the link below for more information about the liquor license application process,
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