City Council to hear distance exceptions for alcohol sales

Update: Tyler city council members have decided to table the items relating to retail businesses seeking permission to sell alcohol beverages within 300-feet of a church or school.
The decision comes Wednesday morning, with members citing the need for more research before items go to a vote.
A city ordinance requires that any retail outlets selling alcohol must be more than 300 feet from a church or a school in distance.
TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - The Tyler City Council will vote Wednesday on the requests of several retail outlets seeking permission to sell alcoholic beverages within the required 300-foot distance from a church or a school.

When voters approved beer and wine sales in November, a city ordinance required that any retail outlets selling alcohol must be more than 300 feet from a church or a school in distance.

Planning and Zoning board members denied requests in early February from Cefco Convenience Stores on South Broadway Avenue, to sell alcohol because of its proximity to the First United Pentecostal Church of Tyler, Heather Nick, city planner, said. The board also denied a request from the Supermercado Monterrey, 510 Southwest Loop, which is within 300 feet of the Jones-Boshears Elementary School in Tyler ISD, she said.

Although the school district did not oppose the request, board members denied it. Both stores are appealing the denials from the Planning and Zoning Board, and city council will make the final decision, Ms. Nick said.

The First United Pentecostal Church of Tyler protested the request by Cefco, and submitted a letter in opposition, Ms. Nick said. Now the city council will listen to the appeal and vote on whether to agree with the Planning and Zoning Board's recommendations.

It is necessary for a retail outlet seeking to sell alcoholic beverages to be outside of the required 300 foot distance from the store's front door to any of the doors leading into a church.

Planning and Zoning board members voted to grant the request of Sam's Club, 2025 SSW Loop, for a variance, allowing the store to sell alcoholic beverages because it was a store that requires a membership to shop there, Ms. Nick said. The store was within the 300-foot distance because when the distance to a school is in question, the measurement is considered to be property line to property line, Ms. Nick said. Sam's Club is near All Saints Episcopal School.

City council members also will vote to give final approval to the request from Sam's Club.

The city council will meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesday at Liberty Hall, 103 E. Erwin St.


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