City to consider 300-foot rule for alcohol sales
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series discussing the legalization of the sale of alcohol in Jacksboro.
Many have asked where will the sale of alcohol be permitted in Jacksboro.
Regarding the City’s zoning ordinance, there are no additional restrictions for alcohol sellers at this time. A restaurant or retail store that sells alcohol can go in the same place another restaurant or retail store can go.
The zoning for the Central Business which is the one-block area around the square requires a conditional use permit for any business wishing to locate there.
According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, city councils are permitted to adopt a local ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages within 300 feet of a public or private school, church and/or public hospital. The distance from a school can be increased to 1,000 feet under certain circumstances, but according to the Education Code, that pertains to districts located in a municipality with a population of 900,000 or more.
The wording for the measurement for those distances is from front door to front door and in a direct line across intersections for churches and hospitals. For schools, the measurement is in a direct line from the property line of the school to the property line of the place of business and in a direct line across intersections.
“This is all optional for the cities to adopt these distance ordinances,” said Chris Porter, TABC public information officer. “If the city chooses to adopt them they have to follow the guidelines set out in the alcoholic beverage code. The city can’t demand that it be 150 feet. It has to be 300 feet and measured as outlined in the alcoholic beverage code.”
He added that TABC does not enforce location issues.
“It will be up to the governing body before the application is approved to let us know about that,” Porter said. “We won’t take an application unless it’s signed by local government and local government is responsible for determining questions of location.”
Also, if the Jacksboro City Council does opt to require a 300-foot distance, it is free to grant variances as it sees fit.
Jacksboro Mayor Alton Morris said all of this should be discussed at Monday’s city council meeting in which the election will be canvassed. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers.
To read the complete article and a sidebar about the history of alcohol sales in Jack County and the impact on Bryson, see the Nov. 18 Herald-Gazette.