FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A battle over booze continues to heat up in Fort Worth. The Glen Garden Country Club, in the southeast part of the city, sits at the center of the dispute. Prospective buyers of the property want to transform the historic grounds into a distillery. But not everyone in the area is ready to ‘toast’ the new plans.
The Firestone and Robertson Distillery has brewed up the idea of converting the golf course into a distillery and visitor’s center. But the idea has not gone down smoothly with a lot of nearby homeowners.
Those living in the area worry about traffic, fumes and are fearful of what is called whiskey mold — a fungus found in Kentucky, that lives on ethanol and coats homes located near large distilleries with a black film.
Glen Garden neighbor Howard Rattliff Junior said, “Clearly just the possibility of that, to me, questions the viability of your property values.”
Opponents have managed to gather 3,000 signatures asking the city to block the distillery’s purchase and conversion plans. That now means the city council would have to have a super-majority to approve the distilleries move to the golf course.
“It requires seven votes to pass this,” explained Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, adding, “because there is 20-percent or more opposition from neighbors surrounding the property.”
The distillery started an online petition of its own and very quickly had more than 1,000 signatures.
But, even Mayor Price admits it will be tough to get seven votes to pass such a controversial plan. “I really think most of council is still listening and still doing some soul searching and trying to make their mind up,” she said.
With emotions in the debate rising, as the two sides head to a city council show down, no one is sure which side will win.
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