New rules are taking shape for alcohol sales in Lubbock County. Thursday, the Lubbock City Council started the process of zoning packaged alcohol sales in case citizens approve the sale of alcohol in a May election. If you drive down 50th Street you'll see a Walgreens, 7-Eleven, and United Supermarkets. All places you could potentially buy alcohol.
The plan city council approved Thursday says in mixed use areas where there is residential and commercial buildings, grocery stores, drug stores, and convenience stores can sell beer and wine for incidental use, which means it can only take up 25 % of their floor space. "Limit a 3,000 square foot grocery store to 750-square feet of alcohol sales. Smaller Mom and Pop stores that might be 1,000-feet would be limited to 250-square feet," said Zoning Administrator Bill Boone.
In completely commercial areas those stores could sell beer and wine or hard liquor for incidental use. However, state regulations say if a store sells hard liquor they must close by 9 p.m., and stay closed all day on Sundays. "It's not anticipated that a lot of grocery stores or convenience stores or drug stores would be selling spirits because of that restriction, because most of those stores stay open later, and they want to be open seven days a week," said Mayor Tom Martin.
In larger commercial areas, where you would find Wal-Marts and other mega stores you could have small liquor stores limited to 3,000-square feet. In heavy commercial districts like Industrial Park and manufacturing districts which are mostly on the outskirts of town, larger liquor stores are allowed. The original plan allowed drive through alcohol purchases in manufacturing areas, but that didn't sit well with council. "The one that really gave me heart burn is the drive-thru in the heavy industrial areas," said Councilman Floyd Price.
The council decided not to allow drive-thru sales any where in the city. State law requires stores within 300-feet of schools, churches, or hospitals can not sell alcohol. The council is also looking into expanding that to 1,000-feet. Then, they will hear the revised plan and vote on it at their next meeting on December 4th.
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Lubbock County Liquor Sales Map