Conditional Use Permits (Liquor)

More Questions? Contact the Zoning Division at 343-7943

What do I need to apply?

  1. Original Application for Conditional Use Retail Sale of Alcoholic Beverages with original signatures.
  2. 12 sets of the following:
    • Completed Application.
    • Completed ABC Board liquor license application form, if filed with ABC prior to, or in conjunction with the conditional use application.   
    • Site plan showing: vehicular circulation, parking areas, pedestrian circulation, landscaping, and location and use of structures.   
    • Floor plans showing: serving area(s), customer seating, kitchens, bars, entertainment areas, storage, and restrooms.   
    • Building elevations. Drawings or photographs may be used.
    • Zoning map showing the proposed location. 
  3. The application fee.

Do I need a professional to represent me?

It is possible to prepare a conditional use permit without professional help. Whether you seek professional help may depend on the magnitude of the project and your own capability to prepare the required documents and plans. If you decide you need professional help, petitioners most often select a private attorney to advise and/or represent them.

When do I need to apply?

An application for a alcoholic beverage conditional use must be filed with the planning department after application is made to the ABC board for a new or transfer of location of a liquor license. (Top)

How long will it take?

The Planning Department operates a first come first served system for scheduling conditional use permit public hearings. The minimum amount of time for a conditional use permit from acceptance to the public hearing is about 45 days. However, the actual elapse time is subject to the Assembly's published meeting schedule and the Assembly's workload.

What is the likelihood that my conditional use will be approved?

Conditional use applications that comply with the zoning regulations, the comprehensive plan, and have a positive recommendation from the local community council are nearly always approved. The approval will usually have conditions included that must be satisfied. A condition example would be "filing a Notice of Zoning Action."

What happens before the public hearing?

To get ready for the public hearing the Planning Department does the following:

  1. Gives you one or more placards to post on the property. The placards must be posted at least 21 days before the public hearing.   
  2. Assigns a case number to the conditional use for tracking and reference purposes.   
  3. Sends a copy of your conditional use to a number of public agencies and the local Community Council for comment. The primary public agencies are Public Works Land Use Enforcement and the public utilities. The Community Councils often discuss zoning matters at their monthly meetings. You should contact the council to arrange to appear on a meeting agenda to explain your proposal.   
  4. Mails a "Notice of Public Hearing" to each of your neighbors within a minimum of 500 feet of your property.   
  5. The planner as well as other public agency staff assigned to your conditional use will visit the property and may take photographs.   
  6. A resolution packet is prepared and published to advise the Assembly of the Planning Department's findings and recommendation. The report is available on the Friday before the hearing or at the public hearing. It is also posted on the Municipal website at Zoning and Platting Cases Online Notification System.

What happens at the public hearing?

The Assembly public hearings are held in the Assembly Chambers at Loussac Library. The Assembly follows a published agenda. The hearing of each conditional use permit generally follows these steps:

  1. The chair will introduce the agenda item number or resolution number and explain the procedure to be followed.   
  2. The chair opens the hearing for public testimony. You or your representative will then have 3 minutes for his/her presentation. The Assembly members may direct questions to you through the chair.   
  3. Each person may testify for no more than three minutes and may be questioned by the Assembly.   
  4. The chair closes the hearing to public testimony.   
  5. The chair will ask for a positive motion from the Assembly.   
  6. The chair and the Assembly discuss the motion and facts in support of or in opposition to the rezoning.   
  7. The chair calls for roll call vote on the motion. No matter how many Assembly members are present it takes 6 yes votes to approve the conditional use permit.   
  8. The chair will advise the applicant of the Assembly's action, including findings of fact and conclusions of law.

What do I do if my conditional use permit is approved?

To complete the conditional use permit the following must be done within the time period set in the approval.

  1. Any conditions attached to the approval must be satisfied.   
  2. A "Notice of Zoning Action" must be recorded with the State District Recorder. The Planning Department will prepare the Notice of Zoning Action after it has received notice or verified the conditional use permit conditions are satisfied. Planning Department staff will also advise you of where to take the Notice for filing and what must be returned to it when the filing is complete.   
  3. Finally, you must stay in compliance with the terms and conditions of your conditional use permit. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the conditional use permit.

What do I do if my conditional use permit is denied?

There are 3 options available to you if your conditional use permit is denied:

  1. Stop consideration of conditional use on the land.   
  2. Prepare a new conditional use permit application that resolves the issues that caused the Assembly to reject the previous conditional use permit and reapply.   
  3. Present a case to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that it should ignore the Assembly's denial action.

When does a conditional use permit expire?

A conditional use permit for alcoholic beverage sales expires 60 days after the liquor license is removed from the premises by transferred, non-renewal, or revocation by the ABC board. The conditional use permit does not expire if a license of the same type is proposed for transfer or new license applied for within the 60 days. A change in license type will require a new conditional use permit.

Where can I find the actual laws regarding conditional uses?

The text of the Municipality Code of Ordinances and the Code of Regulations is available at the Municipal libraries, the Planning Department, and on the Internet at municode.

For alcoholic beverage conditional uses review the following:

  • Alcoholic Beverages AMC 10.50   
  • Conditional use procedures and standards AMC 21.50.160   
  • Conditional use general standards AMC 21.50.020


Assembly  The Assembly is the elected legislative body for Anchorage and determines whether to grant alcoholic beverage conditional use permits.

Cut-off date  The Planning Department establishes a schedule based on the Assembly's published meeting dates which includes enough time between accepting a conditional use petition and the Assembly public hearing to do the legal notice to neighbors and solicit information from government agencies and citizens on the petition. The cut-off date is the starting point and the last day a petition can be accepted for a specific hearing.

Floor plan  A floor plan is a scaled drawing of the proposed development that shows the interior layout of each floor of the building

A protest  The Assembly must advise the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board within 60 days of receiving notice of the ABC liquor license application on whether the liquor license application site conforms to municipal zoning laws. If it does not, the Assembly will protest the issuance of the license.

Resolution packet  The documents presented to the Assembly which include the an Assembly resolution, Assembly memorandum explaining the conditional use permit, a report containing the Planning Department findings and recommendation, the application form and other material submitted by the applicant, comments from public agencies, and the general public.

Site plan  A site plan is a scaled drawing of the proposed development that shows the buildings, parking areas, landscaping, trails and other project detail.

Zoning is a system of laws to regulate use of property. It includes provisions to separate land uses and provide minimum or maximum dimensions on for instance building height, distances from property lines, and the amount of land that can be used.