City, county pass beer, wine propositions - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

City, county pass beer, wine propositions

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

All four propositions in the City of Tyler and Smith County Precinct 2 have passed, opening the doors for beer and wine sales.

In Smith County Precinct 2, Proposition 1 passed 17,138 to 6,772. Proposition 2 passed 16,695 to 8,850. Tyler voters also voted overwhelmingly in support of the ballot issues. Proposition 1 passed 22,767 to 8,450. Prop 2 passed 21,225 to 10,670.

Tyler's Planning and Zoning Commission met earlier Tuesday to discuss what changes will be made to the city code should voters approve the alcohol proposals on the Tyler ballot.

"The citizens are very proud of the natural beauty of Tyler," said Tyler City Planner Heather Nick. "We want to make sure that we mitigate any effect from the passing of this proposition."

Nick presented three amendments to the city code at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The first Unified Development Code amendment requested the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider recommending an ordinance to regulate beer and wine sales in seven parts.

The second UDC amendment requested an ordinance to adopt zoning regulations to regulate drive-through service areas that allow for passage of motor vehicles and are used primarily for the retail sale or delivery of pre-packaged foods or beverages for off-premises consumption, if located in a M-2 zoning district and through issuance of a Special Use Permit. That ordinance will not affect current restaurant drive-through lanes.

The third amendment recommendation was an emergency item added to Tuesday's meeting. That amendment simply clarifies the city zone change application fee covers the review of zoning to clarify state distance requirements for alcohol sales.

All three amendments were approved.

Local group Buy Local First was quick to voice their excitement.

"The people have overwhelmingly stated they want to legally be able to purchase beer and wine in their grocery stores, supermarkets and convenience stores," the group said in a news release.

"As for the opposition, we hope they will see tonight as a sign that the battle is lost and to give up their efforts whose only benefit is to delay the will of the people."

The two ballot issues were in jeopardy a day ago when Matthew Thigpen, managing partner of Ladd and Thigpen P.C., filed a temporary restraining order to delay the vote. Thigpen's clients - Delores Radford, a resident of Smith County JP 2, and Richard Lanham, a Tyler resident - claimed many of the signatures weren't up to Texas election code.

"We knew that the restraining order would be a difficult - it would be a difficult burden to meet," Thigpen said. "However, we felt it was appropriate based upon the importance of this matter to our community."

Thigpen told visiting Judge Andrew Kupper that 6,242 signatures had problems with Texas election code because they are missing data, like failing to provide a registration number or a proper birth date or were signed by people who didn't live in JP 2 or who signed the petitions twice.

Thigpen also Judge Kupper today that there are 3,733 signatures on pages that did not have the date of issuance on them from the county, which violates another state election code.

A visiting judge denied the temporary restraining order Monday night.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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