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Villa Rica City Council To Consider Package Store Requirements at April Meeting

On April 12, the City Council is expected to consider an amendment to the city’s alcoholic beverage ordinance to allow package sales within the city.

During the Nov. 4 general election, 78.6% of voters approved a referendum allowing the City Council to permit package sales of alcohol in Villa Rica. Subsequently, the council asked the City Attorney to draft an amendment to the existing City ordinance regulating Alcoholic Beverages.

No package alcohol sales will be allowed downtown.

Permits will be issued to store owners only if they meet certain requirements and only one store will be permitted in each of the districts.

The highlights of the proposed amendment are:

• Council members are expected to initially approve four permits, one per district.

• All retail alcohol dealers who receive a permit must operate in a free-standing building (not part of a larger building or strip mall) with a minimum showroom of 6,000 square feet.

• The free-standing building must be bricked on all sides.

• The alcohol inventory of the permitted store must have a value of at least $750,000.

• Licenses will be limited to one per family or corporation. None of them may have an interest in another permitted store in the city.

• The first permits for stores will be issued by this procedure:

o The city will first set an application deadline for potential retailers.

o If there is more than one qualified applicant in a single district, the permit will be issued according to a lottery system. That selection process will be overseen by an independent third party.

o The lottery will determine a first, second, and third-place retailer. If the application of the first-place winner is not accepted by the council, the applications of the other winners will be considered in turn.

Additional districts where alcohol sales would be permitted will be added as the city grows. For example, a fifth district may be added when the city reaches a population of 25,000, based on federal population counts.

The City Council work session will be held at 10 a.m. April 12 at the city courthouse, 101 Main Street. The regular meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on the same date and at the same location.

Story provided by the City of Villa Rica

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