LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima Monday announced an ordinance he plans to propose to City Council to establish 300-foot buffers between certain alcohol establishments.
The Mayor said his proposal would only apply to standalone liquor stores or stores where alcohol sales consist of more than 50 percent of gross sales.
Miyagishima said New Mexicans are dying three times the national average due to alcohol-related incidents, and he feels state legislation could be contributing to that due to it allowing more businesses to expand their liquor license to include hard liquor.
"When I was first elected to public office it was 1992. There were a lot of liquor stores here in Las Cruces," said Miyagishima, "You could slowly see the legislature, because of the number of DWIs throughout the state, you could see the state actually getting tougher on legislation."
Miyagishima said he doesn't currently see a problem with clusters of liquor stores in Las Cruces, and he wants to keep it that way. He said that is where the buffer will help.
"It's got to be extremely difficult for our youth as they grow up. There are so many different things that are available to them."
The Mayor floated the proposals during a discussion on eliminating buffers between cannabis retailers and single-family homes.
The Las Cruces City Council voted to keep the existing 300-foot buffers in a 4-to-3 vote.