Liquor and Tobacco Point Fight

Gazette reporter Rick Smith pretty much laid out the facts on the fight over the new Liquor and Tobacco Point store at 1545 First Ave. SE. Some folks in the Wellington Heights neighborhood think the last thing the area needs is another place to buy booze and smokes.

It’s tough to argue. For one thing, I live out in placid north Marion. I have no idea what it’s like to live where Joe Zito and his neighbors live. Yeah, liquor and tobacco is legal, but so is standing up for your neighborhood’s future and your kids’ safety. They have a right to be heard on this.

A resolution revoking the store’s liquor license is on the City Council agenda Wednesday night. Speaking of legal issues, the store is just 137 feet from the Mission of Hope, and the city code says:

It shall be unlawful to establish and maintain a place for the sale of liquor or beer within 300 feet of a building used for church or school purposes. Such area limitation shall not apply to permits in force on January 1, 1965, nor to renewals thereof.
Said 300 feet shall be determined by a measurement to be made on a perpendicular line from the center of the front door of each building to the street sidewalk and then along a line on the center of the public sidewalk; and if there be no public sidewalks, then along the side of the right of way of the street adjacent to the properties, provided that there shall be no less than 200 feet between the nearest points of the buildings. In the case of buildings across the street from each other, the measurement shall be made along the lines as above described and then be projected across the street, the distance across said street to be included in the measurement at a point where the lines on the opposite sides of the street are at the minimum distance from each other.

Mission of Hope holds regular church services, so it’s certainly covered under the ordinance. Unless the council is going to waive or change the law, I expect a do-over and a revocation. Not sure why the council ever approved the license, but some of this routine stuff gets lost when you’re dealing with a disaster.

Maybe you don’t like the ordinance, or you think government should get out of the way. I’d be intested to hear your perspective.



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2 responses to “Liquor and Tobacco Point Fight

  1. Brent Oleson

    Did you mean to say placid north Marion or flacid north Marion?

  2. Rob

    Correct me if I misread the ordinance.

    Couldn’t the prospective business not have a front door (city code?), and maybe only have a door to a back alley or parking lot in the back? This could give them some extra measured length to the center of the front door of the Mission of Hope; maybe additional length to get around this 300′?

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