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Liquor store ordinance draft under review

By Jill Penley

The Mountain City Town Council plans to review a package store ordinance draft during a special called work session Feb 26.
City Attorney George Wright delivered a draft of an alcoholic beverage ordinance to City Recorder Sheila Shaw last week for the council’s consideration.
“The city council needs to establish a regulatory structure for the new ordinance,” explained Attorney Wright, “ensuring it is compliant with a state law that stipulates reasonable access to package stores.”
Items contained within the proposed ordinance include liquor store licensing, fees, store locations, store size, signage, record keeping, enforcement, and penalties.
The liquor store referendum passed on Nov. 6, with 3,183 or 54.27 percent of the votes cast in support of the referendum and 2,628 or 45.21 percent of the votes cast in opposition.
Highlights of the proposed liquor store ordinance include:
• “No establishment selling alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises shall be located within three hundred (300) feet of any active school or active church. The distances provided for herein shall be measured in a straight line by beginning at the front door of the business location and going from that point to the front door of any active church house or active school.”
• “All retail package stores will be located on the ground floor of the premises. Each package store will have one (1) main entrance unless the store is located on the corner of two (2) streets, in which instance such store may maintain a door opening on each such street. Additionally, all retail package stores shall be of a permanent type of construction. No package store shall be located in a prefabricated/movable manner of building. All retail package stores will be equipped with lights surrounding the premises and a functioning burglar alarm system. Full and unobstructed vision shall be afforded to and from any public streets to the package store, and, to the maximum practicable extent, to the sides of the building containing the package store. The retail package store shall be a minimum of twelve-hundred (1,200) square feet. Finally, all retail package stores shall be subject to applicable zoning, land use, building and safety regulations by the Town of Mountain City.“
• “No radios, television sets, arcade/pinball machines or other such devices
which cause people to congregate or loiter shall be prohibited in a retail package store. In a retail package store, seating shall only be provided for employees. This section does not preclude the owner or employees from having a television set or a radio solely for their use, which is located out of the public view.”
• “It shall be unlawful for any person to drink any alcoholic beverages or physically and openly possess, display, exhibit, or show
an unsealed bottle containing any alcoholic beverage in
the parking area of any drive-in restaurant, shopping center, or parking area of any business premises, or on any public street or sidewalk, or in any public park, playground, theater, stadium, school, or school ground within the corporate limits of the Town of Mountain City, title 8, alcoholic beverages section, or a person, has been issued a permit by the State of Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission.”