Dallas Accepts Permits for Beer and Wine Sales


A day of drama and grandstanding by opponents did not stop voters' decision to allow citywide sale of beer and wine in Dallas.

Wednesday the Dallas City Council was due to canvas the results of last week’s referendum that eliminates dry areas.

Canvassing election results is normally a routine matter.

But community leaders, ministers and business people who opposed the change in dry areas were at Dallas City Hall to protest the canvassing vote.

"We just want to make sure that our community is not saturated with beer and wine sales," said Pastor Tommy Brown of Ervay Cedar Baptist Church.

The group urged city leaders to delay certifying the election and that's what Councilman Dwaine Caraway tried to do.

"This is the largest charge in geographical quality of life that these people will ever have to deal with," Caraway said.

But Caraway's motion to delay for 30 days was defeated by a vote of 12 to 3. Only members Steve Salazar and Carolyn Davis supported Caraway.

Opponents promise another lawsuit challenging the petitions that forced the referendum in the first place.

Some of the questions about those petitions have already failed in court.

In the meantime, Mayor Tom Leppert said the city would begin reviewing applications from merchants in dry areas.

"To me, the voters voted. We’ll go forward on that basis and the city will do from the staff standpoint, the things it needs to do to handle the requests and the permits that come in," said Leppert.

More than half of Dallas is currently dry and supporters insist the city stands to benefit from the change with additional tax revenue and more convenience for residents.

City officials expect as many as 2000 new beer and wine permit applications but not all will be approved.

Among the restrictions, establishments must be at least 300 feet away from a school or church.

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