LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock's director of planning says his office has seen quite a number of permits from businesses that appear to be getting ready for new alcohol sales. Commercial construction permits listed in Sunday's Lubbock Avalanche-Journal show three United Supermarket locations seeking store alterations for beer and wine sales. The square-footage for each is listed as unknown.
While the building permits can be issued, expanded sales are still on hold. The city is still working on new zoning rules for packaged alcohol stores. That has the application process for off-premise sales on hold within the city.
In May, NewsChannel 11 told you that Majestic Liquor Stores Inc. and Pinkie's Inc. filed suit. Combined, they own all the stores on "The Strip" and other locations in Lubbock County. Both businesses say the city's current zoning rules, approved by council in December, are unfair and illegal due to size and location restrictions.
Now, as we learn about stores preparing for new sales, we also find out when they could actually start the permit process. "We've had quite a number of building permits by various establishments that appear to be making ready cooler space. They can do that alteration as they care to, but there is not the ability to sell alcohol off-site," Director of Planning for the City of Lubbock Randy Henson said.
Henson tells NewsChannel 11 that Lubbock City Council Members will take up the zoning issue during their June 23rd meeting. The planning commission already approved new ordinances that allow for larger packaged stores during a public hearing on June 4th. They recommended those changes to council for approval.
Council takes up the 1st reading on the 23rd. That's also the second public hearing for the issue. If council adopts the new ordinances that day, a 2nd reading is scheduled for July 8th. "Then, there's a requirement by state law for a notice in the paper and ten day waiting period that the city secretary takes care of, and we anticipate, if everything goes as scheduled currently, August 8th will be the day that we're able to accept applications," Henson said.
Retailers would then have to go through the TABC for final approval. We'll let folks know what happens.
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