As we reported this weekend, there are few spots left in Minneapolis to open a liquor store.

This is because of city limitations that keep them dispersed and away from schools, churches and homes. Specifically, they must be within 5 acres of appropriate commercial zoning, 2,000 feet from each other and 300 feet from schools and churches.

It's worth taking a look at the city's map that spells this out, which is visually stunning. A large version is stored at the city's Regulatory Services department, but we have pasted a PDF below.

Grant Wilson, the city's manager of business licenses, says the current system "is working well in that stores are located in all parts of the city and we do not see areas with an overabundance of them.”

Dan Cohen, a member of the City Planning Commission, said the specific spacing requirements are fairly arbitrary but "limiting the number and spacing [liquor stores] out is a good idea if it can be done without too much politicking and bribery involved."

First, take a look at this Google map we created illustrating allowable liquor store locations (though not necessarily vacant ones). MPLS took a street-level tour of the South Minneapolis locations, almost all of which were already full or too close to an unlisted obstacle (such as a chuch). Possible sites are drawn on the map below, with obstacles noted in icons.

View Liquor in a larger map

Here is the map from Regulatory Services. Possible sites feature hashmarks and are not located in any circles (you must download to see the hashmarks). Large empty circles represent existing liquor stores. Buffer zones -- purple, orange, blue -- have been drawn around schools and churches.

Liquor Map With School and Church Buffers