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Arlington Voters Approve Liquor Stores, Now What?

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) - Arlington voters said they’re ready for liquor stores in Tuesday’s election. But, they also said they expect the city to control where those new liquor stores go and what restrictions those stores will face.

“Yes, it has to,” said Arlington resident Carlos Vaquera. ” It has to. And real strict, you know? Real strict.”

“Well, in anything that you create, rules and regulations are necessary,” said Shamequia Cason, who supports allowing package liquor sales in the city. “So those things need to be put in place.”

Ironically, what was the largest city in Texas banning liquor stores, actually drew up rules to regulate such stores back in the 80′s. The code was apparently written to match state liquor laws when there was talk of allowing liquor sales back then.

When the law goes into effect November 19, Arlington will allow liquor stores in commercial areas and industrial areas. The city will also regulate what the stores can be next to.

“Right now, they’re at 100 feet from schools, churches and hospitals,” said Jim Parajon, Arlington Planning Director. “And its possible we might be able to or the city council may consider some increases to those distances.”

But, the city council can still change the codes. For instance, a vacant commercial space is right across the street from a church. If it’s one hundred and one feet away, a liquor store can go here. The council could increase mandatory distances between liquor stores and schools, churches and hospitals by up to 300 feet. Mayor Robert Cluck declined an interview saying its just too soon in the process to discuss right now.

So, while its clear voters are ready for liquor stores, it’s not clear exactly what the ordinances regulating those liquor stores will look like after the city council reviews what’s already on the books.

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