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Valpo riverfront district proposal withdrawn from consideration

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A measure that would let the city of Valparaiso issue more liquor licenses remains on hold. The city council Monday withdrew a proposed ordinance to establish a riverfront district, after the project that wanted the liquor license withdrew its request.

But City Attorney Patrick Lyp said city officials plan to continue exploring the idea for other parts of the city. "To see where else we could potentially identify an area where having a riverfront district would provide some needed nudging for development in the area there," Lyp told council members.

In a riverfront district, the city could issue additional liquor licenses, beyond those allocated by the state or those available for the city's downtown area. But the term "river" is defined loosely, and many small bodies of water could qualify.

Council member Evan Costas thinks a riverfront district could be a great tool for the city in the long run. "Maybe by the movie theater where there's a large body of water would be a good area and an area where you might see some more chains come in. But I think it's good to protect and be careful with sprawl and not getting too spread out and having districts all over the place," Costas said.

The proposal that was withdrawn would have included part of the U.S. 30 corridor, where a developer was looking to get a liquor license for the former Bethel Church building.