On Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued permits to Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Arlington, Texas.
Flags Beverage, Inc. dba Six Flags Over Texas was issued a mixed beverage permit, a mixed beverage late hours permit, a beverage cartage permit and a caterer's permit for the premises located at 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington, Texas.
Flags Beverage, Inc. dba Six Flags Hurricane Harbor was issued a mixed beverage permit, a mixed beverage late hours permit, a beverage cartage permit and a caterer's permit for the premises located at 1800 E. Lamar Boulevard, Arlington, Texas.
After a public hearing on October 14, 2008, a State Office of Administrative Hearings judge found that the "issuance of the requested permits and certificate does not adversely affect the safety of the public, nor will it adversely affect the general welfare, peace, or morals of the people or violate the public sense of decency."
On February 25, 2009, TABC Administrator Alan Steen signed an order adopting the Proposal for Decision of the Administrative Law Judge granting the application for alcoholic beverage permits to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas.
The protestants in the hearing had 20 days after the order was entered to file a motion for rehearing with the TABC Administrator. A motion for rehearing dated March 2, 2009, was filed by Carl Fors of Texas Sober, Inc., and on March 24, 2009, the TABC Administrator denied the motion for rehearing. TABC issued the permits the same day.
The applications for TABC permits for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags Over Texas were received January 11, 2008. TABC conducted an investigation following receipt of protest letters to determine if the facts stated in the letters were sufficient to initiate an administrative hearing.
On August 12, 2008, TABC notified all interested parties that a hearing would be held on the applications before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) administrative law judge.
The hearing began on October 14, 2008, in Fort Worth, Texas. Several members of the public spoke at the hearing, stating concerns that the sale of alcoholic beverages at these amusement parks would affect the safety, moral, and general public welfare. The hearing concluded on October 16, 2008, and the record closed on December 12, 2008, after the parties submitted written argument.
Administrative Law Judge Tanya Cooper's Proposal for Decision was signed on January 9, 2009. In her decision, she stated:
"Applicant has operated the amusement park where these Commission-issued permits and certificates are sought for several years, along with numerous other amusement parks similarly situated that serve alcoholic beverage choices, without any significant adverse effects. Applicant has existing procedures to effectively handle an intoxicated park guest should that situation arise. There was no evidence presented that Applicant has a history of operating this, or any of its parks, in violation of the Code."
"This proposed licensed premises is located in a area designated as an 'entertainment district' within the City of Arlington. There are several other Commission-authorized licensed premises nearby to the proposed premises. Applicant has met all zoning and building requirements imposed by the Arlington City Council. The area is designated 'wet' for alcoholic beverage sales, pursuant to a vote of Arlington residents. The amusement park is along Interstate 30, with no residences, churches, or schools within the restricted area around this park."
"Protestants' concerns, although understandable, do not rise to the level of an unusual condition or situation that justifies a finding that the place or manner in which the Applicant conducts business warrants a refusal of the permits and certificate sought based on the general welfare, health, peace, morals, safety, and sense of decency of the people. Accordingly, based on the evidence in the record, the Protestants have failed to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Applicant's application should be denied."
On February 25, 2009, TABC Administrator Alan Steen considered and agreed with the findings of fact and conclusions of law and signed the order adopting the Proposal for Decision.
The protestants in the hearing had 20 days after the order was entered to file a motion for rehearing with the TABC Administrator. A motion for rehearing dated March 2, 2009, was filed by Carl Fors of Texas Sober, Inc.
On March 24, 2009, the TABC Administrator denied the motion for rehearing, and the permits were issued the same day.