Local supermarket plans to ask city for variance to sell alcohol - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/21/09

Local supermarket plans to ask city for variance to sell alcohol

By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX KCBD) - Businesses close to schools are preparing to ask for variances from the city council, hoping to get one step closer to selling alcohol in their stores.

On August 13th, United Supermarkets will seek four variances for their stores that are within 300 feet of a school.

A variance is what the city of Lubbock could grant to businesses if they violate Texas' separation code.

State law states there must be a separation of 300 feet from a permit holder in relation to churches, schools or daycare centers.

The city of Lubbock adopted the 300 foot minimum, so businesses within that space must be granted a variance from city council to sell alcohol.

Outside of Market Street on 50th and Indiana construction is underway to expand the store for beer and wine sales.

"We have been inundated through our guests by requests that we make beer and wine available at all of our stores not just some of them," said Eddie Owens with United Supermarkets.

But packaged alcohol at Market Street on 50th and Indiana is not yet a guarantee.

That's because it is 300 feet away from Monterey High School.

"They changed the school definition to include the fact that you measure from property line to property line so that put quite a number from convenient stores and grocery stores closer than this 300 feet," said Director of Planning Randy Henson.

Those businesses within 300 feet of a school, church or daycare, must be granted a variance from the city to sell alcohol.

Several years ago Texas State Legislature cracked down on how schools to businesses were measured.

"The old measurements you could be practically next door, if you had to go from the door out to the street down to the street and back to the door 300 hundred feet wasn't very far now with this new rule change quite of number of convenient stores and grocery stores are going to be caught up in that definition," said Henson.  

Which is why, on August 13th United will seek variances for four Lubbock stores.

The four stores include: Market Street on 50th and Indiana near Monterey High School, United on Parkway Drive near Alderson Middle School, Amigos on North University near Cavazos Middle School, and United off of Marsha Sharp Freeway near Coronado High School.

"Our stores are really ready to go right now, we are prepared in an operational perspective really in all of our stores, we have been for quite some time now, right now it's just walking through the legal process," said Owens.

The four United Supermarkets and one other independent business owner plan to go before city council on August 13th.

Henson says he plans on many more businesses seeking variances after applying for their alcohol permit.

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