WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) - The City of Whitehouse is taking the next steps to allow beer and wine sales in their city. The referendum allowing beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption passed by 25 votes. That means people will soon be able to buy beer and wine at Whitehouse grocery and convenience stores to take home.
Whitehouse Assistant City Manager Kevin Huckabee says city officials are making the necessary preparations.
"We've got a look at the state laws and guidelines pertaining to the sale of alcohol off premises. So far, the city staff has put together some of the ordinances for council to take a look at. If the council decides there are other ordinances that may apply, then they'll send us in that direction," Huckabee says.
Some of those ordinances pertain to alcoholic beverage sales near churches and schools. The city council could adopt an ordinance prohibiting alcoholic beverage sales within 300 feet of schools, churches and public hospitals. The distance from a school can be increased to a thousand feet
The distance from schools is measured from property line to property line. The city will have to determine if Brookshire's and nearby convenience stores are the appropriate distance from multiple Whitehouse ISD campuses. If not, the businesses may have to apply for special permission.
"The state has laws that prohibit consumption in school zones, limits advertising and things like that. That's what we've taken a look at so far to make council aware of the laws that are out there according to the state," says Huckabee.
Huckabee says the Whitehouse City Council will canvass, which is another word for certify, the election results at their meeting on May 21. Then local businesses can start applying for permits to sell alcohol on May 22. Huckabee says beer and wine could be for sale on Whitehouse shelves as early as July 4th.
Huckabee also says it'll be months before the city can tell what kind of economic advantage beer and wine sales will have on their sales tax revenue, but he says the city knows they won't be losing sales tax from beer and wine sales to other neighboring cities.