The Frisco City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday to amend distance restrictions regarding alcoholic beverage sales.
The amendment will remove the distance restrictions of liquor sales as it relates to schools, churches, hospitals and residential zoning districts.
The Planning and Zoning commission held a public hearing on the item on Jan. 12 and considered resident feedback. Concerns arose regarding the possibility of the amendments allowing liquor stores. However, Planning Manager Anthony Satarino said this is not the case.
“These proposed amendments have nothing to do with the provision of liquor stores in the city of Frisco,” he said.
Concerns regarding crime also arose with the proposed amendments. After a study conducted with the police department, it was concluded that they found no issue in removing the restrictions.
The distance requirements, which Development Services Director John Lettelleir said had been in place since 2002 and prohibited establishments including restaurants that sell alcoholic beverages, breweries and wineries from operating within a certain distance from entities like churches, schools or public hospitals. During the Jan. 12 meeting, Satarino said the City Council was interested in the proposed changes because it had approved multiple exceptions to the rules in recent years, and there had been no known issues as a result.
The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the amendments with a 3-2 vote.
At the Jan. 12 meeting, Lettelleir and Planning and Zoning Chairman Rob Cox said while establishments under the previous ordinance could not sell alcohol near churches and schools, it did not prevent a church or school from being built near an establishment that sells liquor.
They brought up the case of the Shell gas station on Preston Road and Lebanon Trail – a facility that sold alcohol before the establishment of Hunt Middle School. After the opening of the school, the ownership of the Shell station changed, and the new owner was required to get the city’s approval to continue the sale of alcohol despite being within an 800-foot radius of the school.
“I feel like that was a bit of an undue burden on that particular landowner,” Cox said.
Lettelleir also mentioned that since the opening of Hunt Middle School, there have been no issues.
Satarino said although no statistics or reports have been found, the Police Department identified one potential concern with alcohol beverage sales establishment’s proximity to high schools and student’s ability to inappropriately access these establishments.