The City Council will meet as the "Beer Board" tomorrow afternoon immediately after the 5 PM council meeting at the City Center.
On the Beer Board agenda are numerous changes to the city Beer Ordinance--the most significant of which is removing the distance requirement from a park, school, or church if there is a four-lane highway between the store selling beer and the property line of the park, school, or church.
Why did the City decide to change the beer ordinance to remove the 150' distance requirement when there is a four-lane roadway?
Because Food City Popkin--despite knowing that the City Beer Ordinance required 150' from its store and Popkin Little League Park--went ahead and built its store less than 150' from the Little League Park.
Why would Food City do this? Because Food City knew that council would turn around and change the beer ordinance so Food City Popkin could get a beer permit. And that's exactly what is happening.
Click on the image below to enlarge it, and you will see that Food City had a copy of the City Beer Ordinance on September 19, 2014, and thus KNEW that the City Beer Ordinance required a store selling beer to be 150' from any park, school, or church. Click here for a prior post on this issue when City Council passed the new "Food City Popkin" beer ordinance on first reading.
But Food City also knew that it could build its building wherever it wanted to and then get council to change the ordinance. And that is what Food City and Council did. Food City told the City that the beer ordinance would have to be changed, and council will be voting today to make some general changes to the beer ordinance, but the primary change is to say that a store selling beer CAN be within 150' of a school, church, or park if there is a four-lane roadway.
Special change in the beer ordinance for Food City Popkin. The only councilperson to vote against this special "Food City Popkin" change on first reading was Dennis Alvis. Mayor Thomas, Vice-mayor Gary Chesney, Bob Garrett, Key Senter, Chris Bivens. and councilman Paul LeBel voted for the "Food City Popkin" change. Tuesday is the second and final reading.
If Joe Smith had built a small store at the same location as Food City Popkin, do you think councilmembers would have passed a new beer ordinance to make Joe Smith's store eligible for a beer permit?