A frequently recurring issue involved in the sale of alcohol and the licenses granted to do so is the distance required between establishments holding liquor licenses located in the same municipality.

Municipalities differ in the amount of distance required in between establishments holding liquor licenses; the allocated distance will vary from town to town.
For instance in Point Pleasant Beach Borough, located in Ocean County, New Jersey, a distance of five hundred feet in between liquor selling establishments- including manufacturers and wholesalers- is generally required according to Municipal Ordinance Chapter 4-3.3(a). In the event that two premises holding licenses to sell alcoholic beverages are located within 500 feet of one another, the license may be relocated as long as the distance between the premises is increased. Point Pleasant Beach, because of its unique location and substantial tourism industry, also requires that no alcoholic beverage license be granted for any premises located east of Ocean Avenue, though already existing licensed premises and the renewals of their licenses are exempted.

A second example is Middletown Township in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Middletown Municipal Code Chapter 65-13(a) states that “no plenary retail license or plenary retail distribution license shall be granted for or transferred to any premises, the entrance of which is two thousand (2,000) feet of the entrance of an existing licensed premises.” In Middletown this ordinance applies only to premises which are holding the same classification of license. In the case of hotels, motels, restaurants serving alcohol or premises which are governed under a different classification than its nearby counterpart, Middletown Township reserves the right to waive the distance requirement.

As you can see, the required distance varies greatly between municipalities and even the classification of license held by the premises. The Municipal Code of your borough, township or city should contain regulations on the sale of alcoholic beverages within certain distances, as well as exceptions and possible waivers. You may also consult the Alcoholic Beverage Control Handbook for either sellers or municipal issuing authorities in order to properly answer any questions you may have.

If you have any further questions regarding this issue it is suggested that you consult an experienced New Jersey ABC/Liquor license attorney who will be able to answer your question in an expeditious manner.

Contact Villani & DeLuca at (732) 540-1233.

Filed under: The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control FAQs