Dallas Opens the Door to Alcohol Within 300 Feet of Schools

Dallas leaders repeal 2003 city law restricting alcohol sales.

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Monday, Nov 9, 2009  |  Updated 7:00 PM CDT
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Developer Wins Battle Over Alcohol Sales

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Alcohol sales could be allowed within 300 feet of schools after a Dallas City Council vote Monday.

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Developer Wins Battle Over Alcohol Sales

OVER NEIGHBOR OBJECTIONS, DEVELOPERS WON A DALLAS CITY HALL VICTORY TODAY TO OPEN THE DOOR FOR ALCOHOL SALES WITHIN 300 FEET OF SCHOOLS.
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Alcohol sales could be allowed within 300 feet of schools after a Dallas City Council vote Monday.

The council agreed to repeal a 2003 city law that eliminated the option entirely.  Now the developers of a proposed Kroger store on Haskell near Central Expressway will apply for beer and wine sales at the store to be built within 300 feet of Spence Middle School.

Opponents lined up to try and stop the change.

“We would love to have Kroger, but we don’t think it’s necessary to sell alcohol across the street from our schools,” said Claudia Huerta with the Spence PTA.

“Yes, we’re to have economic development. But lets do it in a controlled manner,” said Pastor Jerry Barker of Calvary Baptist Church.

Five council members agreed with the opponents.

“These are our children we’re protecting and we need a very clear standard,” said Councilwoman Angela Hunt.

“This will say you could put a beer barn within 300 feet of a school if the council wants to.  That’s what this is saying,” said Councilman Steve Salazar.

But the developer says the doors of the school will be 800 feet from the school and most council members were impressed with roughly half a million dollars in taxes the store would bring the city each year.

“It doesn’t say that you have to do anything with it, it just says that you can listen to it,” said Mayor Tom Leppert.

“What we’ve put in place to allow the council that ability in no way creates unnecessary harm to any neighborhood,” said Councilman Ron Natinsky.

Members will now vote again on the application when it arrives, probably next month.  But today’s 10 to 5 vote in favor of changing the rules is a very good indication of the final result.
 

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