Brian Scott, NBC 5 Denton County Reporter
A petition drive has begun in Lewisville as citizens push to legalize liquor sales, the campaign hopes to get enough signatres to get the issue on the ballot in November.
A political consulting firm that launched a successful liquor vote in Plano last month is working on a petition drive for a similar vote in nearby Lewisville.
The Eppstein Group has begun circulating a petition through the city calling for a November vote on a measure that would allow Lewisville stores to sell liquor for off-premise consumption.
Lewisville currently only allows sales of beer and wine.
Maryland-based Total Wine and More is funding the petition drive, said Tim Reeves, of the Eppstein Group. The retailer has opened stores in Dallas and Fort Worth over the past year and was intricate in the Plano election, he said.
About 65 percent of Plano voters approved the measure there, so Reeves is hopeful his firm will find similar success in Lewisville.
Tai Duong, owner of Buy Low Beer and Wine in Lewisville, opened his doors immediately after beer and wine sales were legalized in 2005. His family also owns a store in Plano that has expanded to sell liquor, and he said he would love to do the same here.
"Yes, it would be great, you know?" he said. "Why not buy it here and spend some money?"
Others also said that the economic impact of allowing liquor sales is a major reason for supporting the petition. Several nearby communities, including Highland Village and Lake Dallas, sell liquor, and some people say Lewisville is missing out on those tax dollars.
"I think it'd be very good for Lewisville," resident Jess Lewis said. "People will drive out of town if they want to drink, so."
Duong said the current rules are "nonsense" when liquor is sold in surrounding communities.
"Why make people go and spend the money in another place?" he said.
However, the proposition would likely face opposition if it makes it to the ballot, as in other cities.
Lewisville voters have previously rejected measures for liquor sales in 1966, 1973 and 1977, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. In 1977, the vote failed 1,344-1,922.
Reeves said his firm has picked up petitions from the city has begun circulating them. It has 60 days to gain the appropriate amount of signatures.