All-Wet Dallas? Not So Fast, Caraway Says

Councilman wants to see "safe zones" without beer and wine stores if voters approve citywide sales

Progress Dallas, the group pushing to get rid of "dry" areas in Dallas, is closer to getting its measure on the ballot.

But Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway said he still has reservations about allowing citywide beer and wine sales.

"It would be an overproliferation of beer and wine stores throughout the southern sector," he told a dozen residents at a South Dallas meeting.

Currently, Dallas is a patchwork of wet and dry areas.

Caraway said he would like to see "safe zones" set up in the city where beer and wine stores couldn't pop up. But he said the negotiations must take place before the measure gets on the ballot.

"Work on it now, so that we can set policy. Should the election pass, it's no longer policy, it's legal," he said. "Right now, we could put some kind of safeguards in places that might make sense."

Caraway said he is concerned that some neighborhoods would see "five or six stores on a corner" if voters approve Progress Dallas' measure.

"Look at what comes with that -- trash, crimes and all sorts of things could potentially take place," he said.

Gary Huddleston, who works for Kroger and is spearheading the Progress Dallas initiative, said beer and wine sales in the city could pump $10 million annually into the city's coffers.

And the sales could also help Kroger grow in Dallas, he said.

"When we have more sales, we can build more stores, hire more people, so it's an economic development issue as well," Huddleston said.

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