Members of the Tyler City Council said Wednesday they want to ensure local laws, especially those for signage and location, are appropriate. That means some ordinances may be changing in the next few weeks.
“We do want to make sure Tyler is positioned to have the best ordinances possible, to take advantage of the outcome of the election,” Mayor Barbara Bass said. “We will not take a stance on the position.”
State laws govern some provisions associated with alcohol sales, but the community has some regulatory authority on certain issues, such as signage and distance from certain institutions, such as schools and churches, officials said.
The mayor created a special committee earlier this year to examine how much flexibility is allowed by law and determine how Tyler's ordinances compare.
Councilman Mark Whatley chaired the group, which included council members Sam Mezayek and Darryl Bowdre, with input also from City Manager Mark McDaniel.
Whatley said the goal is to be proactive in preparation, not reactive, if the measure passes.
“It will be a huge change for the city of Tyler,” Whatley said. “This is something we've never dealt with before — anyone who lives in Tyler loves the way it looks and feels now.”
The goal is to try and keep it that way while complying with state law, he said.
“We're looking at possibly restricting signs in the windows,” she said. “We do have the ability to regulate size. We already have zoning regulations for signs in windows.”
In terms of location, certain beer and wine sales are not permitted near certain facilities, officials said.
“A 300-foot distance is required from churches, public schools and public hospitals,” Ms. Nick said, noting there are strict guidelines on how distance is measured.
The city is proposing also to include treatment centers, homeless shelters and potential other locations to the list of facilities that cannot be near alcohol sales, records show.
Sales cannot transpire in areas zoned residential, only commercial, she said, noting certain prepackaged sales might require a special use permit.
If alcohol sales are approved, changes to the ordinance would be made prior to canvassing the vote on Nov. 13, McDaniel said.
Earlier this year, the “Buy Local First” special purpose political action committee announced a plan to seek voter approval for legalized sales in Precinct 2, which includes southwestern Tyler, Flint and Bullard, records show.
Voters are being asked to consider two provisions, one being the legal sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption in places such as grocery and convenience stores.
The second option permits the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only. This version was overwhelmingly approved by Tyler voters in 2008, but the current effort would expand sales to areas annexed after 2008 and in Justice Precinct 2.
Early voting for that election started Monday.