The Oregon Liquor Control Commission seems poised to kindly overlook the Portland City Council's last-second bid to stop the Cartlandia pod on SE 82nd Avenue from receiving the state's first-ever annual liquor license for a food cart—so now city officials plan to start shouting even more loudly.

A resolution headed before the Portland City Council next Wednesday, obtained by the Mercury this morning, comes very close to threatening a lawsuit:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Attorney is hereby authorized and directed to participate and represent the City’s interests in the Oregon Liquor Control Commission proceeding, and to take such other legal action as may be necessary to protect the City’s interests.

City officials say they hear the application will pop up on the agenda for the OLCC's March 16 meeting. That'll be just more than a month after the city passed an earlier resolution begging the OLCC to sit down with Portland officials and figure out how to come up with tighter rules, and also after city officials showed up at the last OLCC meeting to make their case in person.

Of course, one lingering question is why the city waited so long to object; the Cartlandia application has been in the works since spring 2011. Theresa Marchetti, the city's liquor license specialist, still hasn't returned messages asking about the delayed response.

The latest resolution attempts to explain that: It blames a vacancy in the police bureau, and claims "no formal response was submitted to the OLCC by the City." But that doesn't appear to be accurate. As I reported this month, Roger Goldingay, the owner of Cartlandia, has a letter of endorsement from the Portland Police Bureau, dated July 21, 2011, issued under the name of Ed Hamann, the captain of the bureau's vice division.

Update 1:17 PM: Christie Scott, OLCC spokeswoman, phoned back and said the March meeting agenda isn't final and that it's only just "possible" that the Cartlandia application makes it on. As for the city's claim it sent in "no formal response," Scott also confirms that "we do have one," a "positive" endorsement, in fact. But "you'd have to talk to the city about why they feel that's not valid."/end update

I've got another message into Marchetti. And I'm also waiting to hear back from Goldingay and the OLCC, which hasn't posted its official March agenda yet. The O is on the city's side, it's worth noting, agreeing with the restaurant lobby and running with misguided hand-wringing that, somehow, carts all across town are going to start disgorging drunk after drunk after drunk. Read the full text of the resolution after the cut.


Direct Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Police Bureau to formally notify Oregon Liquor Control Commission of City’s opposition to issuing liquor license to food cart area, and authorize the City Attorney’s Office to participate on behalf of the City of Portland (Resolution)

WHEREAS, on February 8, 2012 the Council adopted Resolution No. 36905 identifying a range of public safety concerns regarding liquor licensing of food carts and food pods, and taking a formal position of opposing applications for annual liquor licenses for such businesses by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC); and,

WHEREAS, the City of Portland has undertaken on-going serious and good faith efforts to engage citizens and licensees to address problems related to alcohol, representing a significant investment of public resources; and,

WHEREAS, there is an application pending before the OLCC for the annual licensing of a food cart within a food cart pod submitted by Roger Goldingay and Carol Otis, operating under the assumed business name of Cartlandia for a location on SE 82nd Avenue within the City of Portland, Oregon; and,

WHEREAS, the OLCC staff report on the application indicates that the City of Portland made a favorable recommendation on the application, however, the City staff position was vacant when the application was being processed so no formal response was submitted to the OLCC by the City; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Portland has on-going concerns regarding issues related to liquor sales and consumption, such as disorderly behavior, noise, and alcohol related crime, in the area around the proposed food cart licensed site; and,

WHEREAS, the OLCC does not currently have administrative rules that govern the annual licensing of exclusively out door premises, such as the pending Cartlandia application; the OLCC staff has recommended "best practice" guidelines for the proposed license. However, if the licensee failed to conform to the guidelines, the OLCC lacks any corresponding enforcement mechanisms. As voluntary guidelines, the recommended “best practice” guidelines will be wholly inadequate for addressing any resulting public safety concerns, and

WHEREAS, any restrictions sought and obtained for a location are imposed on a case by case basis, representing a significant amount of work for City and OLCC staff, and may be lifted at the OLCC’s discretion without notice to the City; and,

WHEREAS, there are almost 700 active food carts currently operating within the City of Portland; and,

WHEREAS, there are legitimate public safety concerns that with 9 enforcment agents for three counties, the OLCC does not have adequate resources to monitor and enforce the approximate 2,800 currently issued liquor licenses within the City of Portland, let alone an additional possibility of overseeing 700 mobile locations; and,

WHEREAS, there should be a full and open public discussion regarding the significant public safety concerns posed by the possible addition of a large number of additional licenses, issued to a range of mobile vendors; and,

WHEREAS, the OLCC has not been formally notified of the Council’s recently adopted policy position regarding the pending application; and,

WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of the City of Portland to participate in the OLCC’s licensing proceeding and fully engage the Commission in a discussion of the potential issues and concerns posed by this application.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and the Portland Police Bureau shall formally notify the Oregon Liquor Control Commission of the City of Portland’s opposition to the application for a liquor license for the Cartlandia location; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, if the Cartlandia application changes to move alcohol service into the structure on the site, the City of Portland reserves the right to consider the application as a new application according to ORS 471.166, and will review the application as a traditional liquor license application for a structure, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Attorney is hereby authorized and directed to participate and represent the City’s interests in the Oregon Liquor Control Commission proceeding, and to take such other legal action as may be necessary to protect the City’s interests.

Adopted by the Council:

Commissioner Amanda Fritz
Prepared by: T.Marchetti/B. Walters
Date Prepared: 02/22/2012 LaVonne Griffin-Valade
Auditor of the City of Portland