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Council Discusses Getting Rid of Alcohol Zoning Designation For Restaurants


The Killeen City Council is looking to do away with requiring restaurants to get a certain zoning designation in order to sell alcohol.

Restaurants in Killeen have to first apply with the city to receive that zoning designation, or else they're banned from selling alcohol in their establishments. The reason the council is considering this item is to try and improve competitiveness in attracting restaurants to the Killeen area.

They believe that by eliminating a lot of uncertainty and delays in starting up an alcohol-friendly business, Killeen could actually begin to see many more restaurants coming to the city.

Before restaurants can legally serve alcohol in Killeen, they must first apply for an RC-1 zoning designation through the city. That process involves going through a public hearing with the planning and zoning commission, and ensuring that establishments that do intend to serve alcohol are approved through local government codes and ordinances.

"In many cases, they already have their license from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission because they've met all their requirements including zoning, but they did not have the overlay," Killeen mayor Dan Corbin said. "Sometimes they find that out at the last minute and it delays their opening for some time."

The process associated with the RC-1 designation deters a lot of potential restaurants from coming to Killeen simply because they don't know if they'll pass the overlay-ordinance process.

"We need to modernize our laws and get them in line with many other cities in the state of Texas who have zoning by right for restaurants in other words if it's properly zoned then you can go ahead and sell alcoholic beverages as long as it meets all the other state requirements for licensing by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission."

Although the city has approved many alcohol-friendly businesses in the past, the council now wants to do away with the RC-1 zoning designation altogether to try and help attract potential businesses and assist establishments by reducing start-up time and eliminating a lot of uncertainty.

"The ones who do come here have to go through some unnecessary hoops and requirements that could be eliminated, and I think that would make it better for them and better for our citizens if we modernized our liquor laws."

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