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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Site Approval for Liquor License Not a Property Right

The City of Peoria revoked the liquor license held by a Shop Rite grocery store shortly after the store president was arrested for selling Viagra at the store (the store had no pharmacy, and the seller was not a licensed pharmacist).  The City also revoked "site approval" for the sale of liquor at the shopping center.  Frey, the owner of the shopping center in which the Shop Rite was a tenant, challenged the City's revocation of the site approval revocation, arguing that the City's revocation violated its due process rights.  The district court rejected Frey's arguments, and Frey appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  Frey Corp. v. City of Peoria (August 16, 2013)
On appeal, the Seventh Circuit examined Frey's substantive and procedural due process claims.  First, the court determined that Frey waived any argument that a site approval is a land use regulation similar to zoning.  The court acknowledged that it was an interesting argument, but did not address its merits because Frey did not raise it previously.  Second, the court held that although issuance of a liquor license to the grocery store tenant was a protected property right, the underlying site approval to the shopping center was not because Illinois law is silent on the issue of site approval.  Finally, the court held that because there was no protected property interest in the site approval, Frey was not due any notice or procedure prior to revocation.  Nevertheless, the court acknowledged that the City provided Frey with adequate notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to the revocation hearing.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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