Could a City Council's decision last week open the door for more alcohol sales near schools? "It might," says City Councilman Jim Gilbreath.
Gilbreath along with Floyd Price, Karen Gibson, and Victor Hernandez voted in favor of allowing 7-Eleven at 2524 Parkway Drive a variance to sell alcohol within 300 feet of Alderson Academy.
Alderson is empty at the moment but will be used as an elementary school in the coming school year.
Other convenience stores have been told 'no' when asking permission to locate within 300 feet of a school. Why the change?
Gilbreath told KCBD NewsChannel 11 that "7 Eleven has demonstrated that they are good corporate citizens in terms of making sure that beer sales are done in a proper way."
Lubbock ISD has been opposed to convenience stores selling alcohol near schools ever since a 2009 public vote authorized off-premise sales. However, LISD had no objection to so-called "big box" retailers having a variance.
"There's already a United [Supermarket] directly across the street," Gilbreath says. United has such a variance. "It was only fair that the other [7-Eleven] could do it."
"There was already a business across the street selling beer. So it's business equity," says Gilbreath.
In last week's meeting Price said, "I just don't see the problem because you've got United, just a stone's throw from Alderson Academy."
Gilbreath says the City did not go against Lubbock ISD's 2009 position because 7-Eleven's sale of beer will be less than 10 percent of total sales.
LISD has said that it opposes alcohol sales within 300 feet of schools where it is "a large percentage of their sales."
Councilmen Todd Klein and Paul Beane both voted 'no' but both think last week's decision will open the door to more convenience stores requesting variances near schools. Mayor Tom Martin also voted 'no.'
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