Distance issue with liquor stores

Distance issue with liquor stores


GLUCKSTADT—An alderman who wanted to remove the distance requirement for convenience stores and liquor stores to increase competition was immediately met with opposition during Tuesday’s board meeting. 

During a discussion about proposed conditional use changes in the city’s zoning ordinance, Alderman Wesley Slay said he wanted to discuss removing the 4,000 linear feet distance requirement for convenience stores and liquor stores. 

“I know some on our board feel very strongly about keeping the distance requirement in place,” Slay said. “I like competition.”

Slay specifically referenced the price of gasoline, saying multiple convenience stores in Brandon were selling fuel for $2.89 per gallon earlier in the day. When he returned back to the Lucky City, he said one station was at $2.99 and the other $3.09. 

He said when the city imposed the distance requirement, it gave “too much authority” to the existing stores “when it comes to pricing and service.”

Slay added that in places like Ridgeland there are two viable convenience stores at major intersections that have been there for decades. 

“I don’t feel like the distance requirement is serving our citizens in the best way,” he said. 

Alderwoman Lisa Williams said she agreed with him on the competition part, but the over-saturation of convenience stores, liquor stores and storage units were the three biggest complaints residents had when they were going through the city’s incorporation process. 

“Multiple citizens questioned me, ‘please tell me y’all will do something about so many saturating the area,’” Williams said. “That was before we ever got to where we are today.”

Alderman Jayce Powell echoed Williams’ statements. 

“Everybody that we spoke to were adamant about over-saturation of gas stations,” he said. “I think we’ve done the right thing by having distance requirements. I would strongly object to changing the distance requirements with gas stations and the liquor stores.”

Alderman John Taylor didn’t specifically reference convenience stores or liquor stores, but said he wasn’t a fan of the board “picking winners or losers.”

“It leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” he said. “Trying to separate people within 10 square miles sounds kind of tedious to me.”

The board took no action but will review proposed changes at the next board meeting that include options to keep the distance requirement or remove the distance requirement. 

Other proposed changes include requiring conditional use permits in I-2 zoning for vape stores, bail bond companies and night clubs; conditional use with no zoning changes for group homes, childcare centers, animal kennels and junkyards; and to add distance requirements for nail salons, hair salons, barber shops and service spas. 

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