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Local Option Election

The process is governed by state law rather than by City charter and requires a petition be submitted to the City Council to force an election.  The process started by appointing a Treasurer (Calla Davis) and notifying the City Secretary; this enabled the sponsor to gather contributions from interested parties.  Interested parties typically are retailers.  The Treasurer filed a campaign finance report for 2013 and for 1Q 2014, disclosing contributors and costs of the LOE.  Click here to see the 2013 and 1Q reports.

The next step was securing petitions from approximately 2,500 eligible voters (at least 35% of the turnout in the last gubernatorial election).  The petitions were certified by the City Secretary within the prescribed certain time frame and presented to the Council.  The council had no choice but to call the elections and they did so February 18, 2014.

Subsequently the Council considered the impact on the city and is moving to appropriately amend the zoning ordinances.  Without action, the LOE would be moot unless each each interested retailer obtained a Special Use Permit for a new store in areas with LI zoning.  Rather, it appears that council is proceeding to establish overlay zoning where they desire beer and wine sales to be permitted without further action; these overlay areas would cover targeted retail locations.

Branch Forum believes that the inability of retailers to sell beer and wine has materially held the City back.  Albertsons and Kroger both closed their doors.  WalMart (LBJ & Midway) has announced they will close their store in favor of a supercenter nearby in Dallas.  These closings might have been averted.  This is not just a convenience issue; sales taxes from the sale of beer and wine are material and are now going to Addison, Carrollton, or Dallas.  It is an economic, and economic development issue.  Of course, if a store closes, one loses ALL their sales tax, not just on beer and wine.

Branch Forum supported the sponsor in its efforts to legalize the sale of beer and wine for off premise consumption and recommended people vote FOR.  We are happy to report the initiative passed by a margin of 71.6% to 28.4%.  Subsequently council is considering 11 overlay zoning districts that concentrate beer and wine sales in existing retail areas.  This is all good.


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