Monday, January 10, 2011

BS #5: Drink Up or Down?

BlogSpasm #5...01-10-11

We know many Congressmen do not ever read the legislation that they vote for and pass. Should we wonder if our local officials read all of the materials in their packets before voting? If they do read the materials, then one could wonder if their vote on Zoning Item #33 for Thursday’s council meeting will be based on facts and data, or political expediency and possible vote garnering.

The following is from the information packet provided to the council. Since all of the other Kroger stores in Irving sell beer and wine without any documented problems or issues, then would it be realistic to deny this zoning request for another Kroger store? In fact, the city administration approves this zoning request. It should also be noted that those in opposition to this zoning request do not own property within the zoning area and are not impacted by this zoning case!

Council Work Packet:

The opposition represents 0% of the land within 200 feet of the subject property; therefore, a 3⁄4 vote is not required to approve this request.

On October 16, 2008, the City Council amended Section 52-49(a)(10) of the zoning ordinance by prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages within 300 feet of a public or private school, as measured “in a direct line from the property line of the public or private school to the property line of the place of business, and in a direct line across intersections.” At the same time, the City Council added Section 52- 49(a)(14), which allows the City Council to grant a variance from the above regulations if the property is within the area now known as the Heritage Crossing Redevelopment District if the Council determines that enforcement of the regulation:

  • Is not in the best interest of the public,
  • Constitutes a waste or inefficient use of land or other resources,
  • Creates an undue hardship on an applicant,
  • Does not serve its intended purpose,
  • Is not effective or necessary, or
  • For any other reason determined to be in the best interest of the community.

Tune in Thursday night and see how your representative votes. It will be interesting to see which members vote for political cover instead of what is right for the applicant and community.

………….Mark Holbrook

A reader sez:

"...If this variance is granted, who else will be lining up to sell booze within the distance limits from schools?" Anonymous

We say: The variance is 60' as the "crow flies." The store is actually 700' from the school...well over the 300' property line requirement of the ordinance. This is a zoning case, not a wet/dry election issue and the "slippery slope" argument really doesn't apply. The council should treat this as it is - a variance that deserves approval......MH

A reader sez:
"If the Heritage District is 'bordered by MacArthur' how is the Kroger store inside the Heritage District?" Anonymous

We say: Aggie engineering?