Residents say one more liquor store is one too many for area
by Nikki Wiley
August 27, 2013 12:32 AM | 4935 views | 4 4 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sign containing information regarding an application for a liquor, beer, wine license and Sunday sales license sits outside the location at the shopping plaza at 2900 Delk Road SE in east Cobb.
A sign containing information regarding an application for a liquor, beer, wine license and Sunday sales license sits outside the location at the shopping plaza at 2900 Delk Road SE in east Cobb.
MARIETTA — A liquor store set to open in east Cobb has some residents saying enough is enough.

Critics say Premier Wine and Spirits, at 2900 Delk Road near Powers Ferry Road, would be the fourth liquor store in 2 miles, and they don’t want to see any more.

“Within a 2-mile radius we have three liquor stores, a bar and at least four other stores and restaurants that sell beer and wine,” said Justin Tomczak, an east Cobb resident who works in public relations. “This area is at a crossroads as to which direction it will go. Another liquor store will take it in a wrong direction and hurt the already struggling community.”

Two of those stores are not in unincorporated Cobb County but are located in the city of Marietta, giving the county little control over those stores, said Sandra Richardson, business license division manager for the county.

State law mandates a minimum of 500 yards between each package store.

Tomczak took his opposition, along with other area residents, to last month’s meeting of the Cobb County Business License Review Board, which narrowly approved the license with a 3-2 vote. He’ll do it again at 9 a.m. Sept. 10 at 100 Cherokee St. when the Board of Commissioners takes up the issue.

Three appeals have been filed in an attempt to block the license from being granted.

Too close to a school?

Tomczak doesn’t want to see any more liquor stores in the immediate area, but he’s particularly concerned about this store’s proximity to Shreiner Academy, a private school. He says the package store falls within the county’s 600-foot minimum distance requirement.

But that school wasn’t shown on the survey business owners provided with their application for the liquor license.

Surveys done by registered land surveyors are assumed to be accurate, Richardson said. The license review board and board of commissioners can waive the distance requirement.

“If the Cobb County Board of Commissioners allows it to proceed, in violation of Cobb County Zoning Regulations, it will open the door to more liquor stores right outside our schools,” Tomczack said. “Obviously this would set a dangerous precedent for our county.”

Dottie Rachels, a retired Powers Ferry Road resident near the store, agrees.

“My prime concern is that there is no need for an additional liquor store, the area is well served by three others,” Rachels said. “Parking for all of the stores is at a premium already.”

Enforcing parameters

She says nearby grocery stores, like Publix and Kroger, would be negatively impacted by the increase in competition.

Bob Ott, who represents the area on the Board of Commissioners, says the concerns of residents are being heard.

Still, he says it’s hard for the county to be the judge of how many liquor stores in an area is enough.

“We need to consider all the parameters that the county has in place for the criteria and just take a look,” Ott said. “If they don’t meet the criteria, we just need to look at, is it in the best interest of the county to go against the parameters or is it unfairly hampering the property owner to enforce the parameter.”

Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 28, 2013
Since when does some " resident" get to dictate to another property owner what kind of businesses an area " needs"?

Give the liquor store owner his license, and give this Rachels character a one way ticket to the communal compound of her choice.
Phillip Maloney
August 27, 2013
Give me a break. Mercy University, aligned with the the Southern Baptist Convention, opens their first varsity football season next week with a tailgating policy allowing the consumption of alcohol on campus in the middle of the Bible belt and residents criticize this property owner in metro Atlanta to petition for a package store because it will hurt Kroger and Publix? What a no-brainer. Collect the tax revenue Cobb County and let the investors open a business.
EC talks the talk
August 27, 2013
Let the markets sort it out!

Keep burdensome government regulations out of our business!

Local control! Local control! Keep bigger government out of smaller government!

But wait!

Wahs!! I don't like liquor stores in the city! Big Government Cobb County I demand you do your job and run these private businesses and their job creating owners out of the City of Marietta!!!

East Cobb, where they only talk the walk unless the walk is perceived to be personally beneficial
s0 Sad
September 05, 2013
The religious right has taken over the "conservative" tea party movement and it leads to hypocrisy like this. So instead of getting tax revenue, just let the space stay empty. Makes sense
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