Alcohol license debate ends in bid withdrawal
by Nikki Wiley
September 10, 2013 12:29 AM | 4374 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Some east Cobb residents are claiming victory after a business withdrew its application for an alcohol license.

Premier Wine and Spirits, 2900 Delk Road near Powers Ferry Road, would have been the fourth liquor store within 2 miles in the east Cobb neighborhood. The license was scheduled to be heard at the Cobb Board of Commissioners meeting this morning.

Neighbors cried foul after the business applied for the right to sell alcohol claiming it would have meant a high concentration of liquor stores in the area.

Other residents were more concerned about the store’s proximity to a private school, Shreiner Academy, which wasn’t mentioned in the application for alcohol sales.

It was a mistake for the company’s surveyor not to include the school on its survey submitted to the county, Marietta attorney Eldon Basham, who represents the business, said in a letter to the county.

The store is 430 feet away from the school, less than the county’s 600-foot minimum distance.

Surveys done by registered land surveyors are assumed to be accurate by the county, according to Sandra Richardson, the county’s business license division manager.

The License Review Board and Board of Commissioners can waive the distance requirement.

“The surveyor stated he made the decision not to include the Shreiner Academy because it was a private school and Cobb County’s license application states that the distance requirement applies to public schools,” Basham said.

Though the actual application packet only specifies public schools be considered, Basham told the county in the letter the surveyor should have known the county code and state law mandate that private schools be included when considering the location of alcohol sales.

At least three appeals were filed to stop the license.

“My client also recognizes the opposition which has accrued would make it highly unlikely the county commissioners would grant the license and we are unsure as to whether the License Review Board would have granted the license had they had the correct information,” Basham said.

The issue didn’t come up until the first hearing of the license at a License Review Board meeting. If the company had been aware of the issue, Basham said in the letter, it wouldn’t have tried to get the license.

“My client has spent a great deal of time and money working on this location for almost a year and regrets not only the time and effort that he has spent but also that this has created a lot of community animosity,” Basham said in the letter.

Justin Tomczak, an east Cobb resident who works in public relations, was “elated” to hear the store wouldn’t continue trying for the license.

“We had local (homeowners association) leaders, representatives from the impacted school and other concerned citizens ready to make our case to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners (today),” Tomczak said.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
smaller gub'ment!
September 10, 2013
Here's a pro tip: If you just can't deal with a liquor store in a crime infested ghetto on your partner's way home, file for that divorce! You can lose the weight and find a replacement. Just don't do it over drinks next time!

"Smaller gub'ment!" is the rallying cry of the East Cobb Tea Party Civic Association! "Let the market sort it out," read their signs. And they mean it! At least right up until they want bigger gub'ment to help them limit the supply for the demand created by the East Cobb alcohol problem which is a likely result of sitting around stewing, wishing things were like they used to be! (newsflash: things weren't really like you think back then. You were just a child, insulated from reality by your parents)
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides