The Columbia County Board of Commissioners voted new liquor store restrictions into during its meeting Tuesday evening. The second readings of two ordinances regarding the zoning of distilled spirit retailers went before the board to be unanimously approved.
“This deals with the separation between existing liquor store locations as well as separation from churches, parks, school buildings,” said planning director Scott Sterling about the one of the ordinances on the agenda, amending where liquor stores may be allowed in proximity to certain areas or structures.
Ordinance 22-02 requires that a liquor store be 1,000 feet from churches, schools, county parks or playgrounds; and at least one mile from another establishment licensed to sell spirits; and that these distances be measured in a straight line starting from the store’s main entrance.
The accompanying Ordinance 22-03 amends the zoning and the process for applying for liquor store licenses, requiring applicants to secure a Conditional Use approval for a locations zoned General Commercial or Heavy Commercial. This would make the application a two-part process, meaning prospective owners would have to submit a conditional use request and apply for a liquor license.
“Any new liquor store would have to come before this board for approval, regardless of the current zoning of the parcels,” said Sterling before the commissioners. “They’ll have to come in front of you to ask for a conditional use in C-2 zone to have a liquor store.”
The board also voted in favor of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir for the expansion of its Hindu temple on Furys Ferry Road. The organization requested parcels at 837 and 825 Furys Ferry Rd. be rezoned from single family residential to special district to allow for a three-to-five year project that includes additions to the building, parking and new recreational areas.