Using Zoning as a Public Health Tool to Reduce Oversaturation of Alcohol Outlets: an Examination of the Effects of the New “300 Foot Rule” on Packaged Goods Stores in a Mid-Atlantic City
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The oversaturation of alcohol outlets can have disastrous public health consequences. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential impact of new zoning legislation, TransForm Baltimore on locations of alcohol outlets. More specifically, the study sought to determine the effect of the new zoning code on the potential redistribution of alcohol outlets and also provide empirical support for the need to actively monitor redistribution of outlets to avoid further inequitable oversaturation in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Data on off-premise alcohol outlets (e.g., packaged goods stores) were obtained from the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City. The alcohol outlets were geocoded and assigned to zoning parcels. Churches and schools were also geocoded. The alcohol outlets were also assigned to census tracts to calculate socioeconomic statuses. One hundred seventy-two of the 263 off-premise packaged goods stores (PGS) were in violation of the new zoning law. TransForm will reduce the land parcels available to alcohol outlets by 27.2%. Areas containing non-conforming PGS were more likely to have a higher percentage of Black residents, single parent-families, unemployment, household poverty, and vacancy compared to Baltimore City averages and areas without non-conforming PGS. Planning enforcement efforts need to accompany related laws to prevent/reduce overconcentration of PGS in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
KeywordsZoning Alcohol outlets Alcohol outlet policy
CDC 5R01CE002682 (PI Furr-Holden, D).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest Statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethical Approval (Research Involving Human Participants/Animals)
This project did not include human subjects or animals.
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