LAYTON -- The city council has granted a local restaurant a variance and approved a liquor license for a business located closer to a church than allowed by state or municipal law.
In action taken Thursday, the city council approved an on-premise liquor license for China Hill at 2074 N. Hill Field Road.
The Chinese restaurant is 502 feet from Alpine Church. State law calls for a business to be at least 600 feet from a church or school before a license can be considered. The business is owned by Zuo Feng Shi.
Anytime a restaurant changes ownership, the applicant must apply for a new alcohol license and undergo a background check by the local police department.
Councilman Scott Freitag asked Bill Wright, director of community and economic development, about the pattern of license approvals near the church in the past, before voting for the variance.
Wright noted other businesses near the church also had liquor licenses in the past. He said the church is in a commercial building in a commercial zone. He also said he had notified the church's pastor and received feedback that there was no objection to granting the license.
Councilman Jory Francis was also curious about how long businesses in the China Hill building had been operating with a liquor license.
"Was the restaurant there before the church?" Francis asked. Wright said a number of businesses in that commercial area had liquor licenses before the church was there.