Council Prepares to Hear Alcohol Zoning Recommendations - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/18/08

Council Prepares to Hear Alcohol Zoning Recommendations

The city is taking the first step toward packaged alcohol sales in Lubbock County.  The city council wants to be prepared, and is already planning ahead if alcohol sales should pass in May.  At Thursday's meeting the council will hear from the planning and zoning commission, which has been working on regulating where alcohol could be sold in the city.

Buying a six pack, could be a little more convenient if alcohol sales are approved for Lubbock County, but the city wants to be prepared beforehand. 

"If we wait until after an election, then we are in a hurry up mode trying to make these decisions and they are decisions that will be very important to the future of Lubbock," said Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin.  

On Thursday the planning and zoning commission will give their recommendations to the council.  Some recommendations are to allow alcohol sales in most commercial areas, but drive through alcohol stores only in selective locations.  Just beer and wine would be sold where apartments and small businesses are together and package stores would only be in high commercial areas.

"I think the sections that deal with the off premise sale of beer and wine appear to be for the most part reasonable.  The sections that deal with spirits, such as whiskey, vodka, hard liquors may get a lot of discussion at the meeting Thursday," said Martin. 

Councilman Todd Klein says safety is his number one concern when discussing zoning plans. 

"If the compelling element is public safety it makes better sense not to have a drive up window for an alcoholic beverage, not to have direct service to an automobile either.  If you want to purchase and I think it's a perfectly legal product and people can purchase responsibly and in a mature fashion and that's what I want to promote if you are going to do it, do it in the most mature and responsible manner that best promotes public safety," said Klein.   

Thursday there will also be a public hearing to weigh in on the committee's recommendations and then the council will adopt an ordinance.

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