Planning Commission moves forward on alcohol change for grocery stores – Lincoln Journal Star

The third time was the charm for Open Harvest in its quest to be able to sell beer and wine.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission on Wednesday voted 5-4 in favor of recommending a change to city code that would reduce the required distance grocery stores would have to be from residential neighborhoods, churches, parks and other similar uses if they sell alcohol.

This was the third time the proposal had gone before the commission. At two earlier meetings, it failed to get a majority of five votes because of commissioner absences.

Current city code requires any business with an off-sale liquor license to be at least 100 feet from residential zoning in certain zoning districts. The change recommended by the Planning Commission would reduce that to 25 feet for grocery stores in those zoning districts, as long as the entrance door is at least 100 feet away. The change also would apply to stores that have a public street or alley between them and the residential district, even if the distance isn’t 25 feet, as long as the entrance door is still 100 feet away.

Open Harvest, a cooperative natural grocer, sought the change because its current location near 17th and South streets is within 100 feet of homes, making it unable to get a liquor license, which store officials say put it at a competitive disadvantage.

The proposal generated a lot of opposition, especially from neighborhood groups that contend that the change will open up many more areas for potential alcohol sales, and many of those areas already are saturated with businesses that sell alcohol.

Open Harvest General Manager Amy Tabor said the store attempted to narrowly tailor the proposal so that it covers only

Read More Here...

This entry was posted in Beer Alcohol Stocks News. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.