Randy McIlwain, NBCDFW.com
Proposition 1 and 2 passed in Dallas, but when will stores start selling beer and wine?
As elections go, the vote to "wet up" Dallas was a landslide. But don't expect to be able to buy beer and wine in every store just yet.
Proposition 1, a measure to allow citywide beer and wine sales in grocery and convenience stores, passed Tuesday, with 65 percent for and 35 percent against.
Dallas' permit department said phones have been ringing off the hook and business owners have asked when they can apply for an alcohol sales permit.
A city spokesperson said the Texas secretary of state must certify the election results, a process that could take one week. The propositions will take effect after the City Council canvasses the results on Nov. 10, the Dallas Morning News reported.
"It's not a mandate that people have to sell beer and wine," said Bob Stimson, president of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, which campaigned in favor of Proposition 1. "If they want to add it to their inventory, they can do that, if that's what their customer base wants."
Stores who want to apply for a beer and wine sale permit will need a permit from the city verifying that their store is not within 300 feet of any school, church, day care or hospital. The permit application then goes to Dallas County for an identical review, and then the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducts a background check.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the first permits are expected to be approved in early to late December.
The Kroger Co., which campaigned for Proposition 1, said its all of its Dallas stores could be selling beer and wine by Super Bowl Sunday.
Opponents say they plan to file a lawsuit challenging the vote.
"The problem is, here the city failed to ensure there were enough petition signatures to put it on the ballot, but they went ahead and called the election anyway," said attorney Andy Seigel, who represents a coalition of liquor stores and South Dallas pastors.
The Texas 5th District Court of Appeals in August rejected an earlier challenge to the referendum by the group. The coalition also questioned the number of signatures in that suit, but the appeals court declined to intervene in the election.
Dallas currently is a patchwork of wet and dry areas.
The Proposition 1 vote breakdown shows a clear divide between North Dallas voters who favored the change and South Dallas residents who opposed it.
Another alcohol-related vote passed by a wider margin. Proposition 2 eliminates the requirement that restaurants act as private clubs to sell alcohol.