CVS granted variance for alcohol sales

As CVS Pharmacy prepares to move into the Borger area, it will now have permission for the off-premises sale of beer and wine.During its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Borger City Council approved action to allow CVS Pharmacy to be granted a variance for the off-premises sales of beer and wine at its location at 230 North Cedar. The Gerald Franklin Agency, which is representing CVS in the state and local alcoholic beverage permitting process, contacted the City of Borger Planning and Zoning Department back in November pertaining to a permit application for the off-premises sales of beer and wine. After some review, Borger City Manager Eddie Edwards said it was determined that even though that particular location was previously authorized by council action back in 1979 for such sales, changes in state law and the city’s code of ordinances would not allow such a permit to be issued.In 1983, the 68th legislature, changed the method of measurement between the place of business where alcoholic beverages are sold and a public school. Previous to September 1983, the method of measurement was along the property lines of the street fronts and from front door to front door and in direct line across intersections. Under this method, the distance is approximately 1,600 feet.With the changes in the law made in 1983, the method of measurement is in a direct line from the property line of the public school to the property line of the place of business, and in a direct line across intersections. Under this method, the distance is 210 feet.The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code provides guidelines for the municipal regulation of alcoholic beverages. At its last regular meeting, the council adopted an ordinance allowing for a variance pursuant to TABC guidelines on sales near schools, churches, or hospitals. The city laws now allow a variance to the distance requirement if the council determines that the enforcement of the regulation in a particular instance is not in the best interest of the public, constitutes waste or inefficient use of land or other resources, creates an undue hardship on an applicant for a license or permit, does not serve its intended purpose, is not effective or necessary, or for any other reason the council, after consideration of the health, safety, and welfare of the public and the equities of the situation, determines is in the best interest of the community.Edwards was asked at the council meeting if he had spoken with the school district about the variance, since CVS will be near the high school. He said he had spoken with the superintendent and was told he would receive word back. Edwards said he had not received word back, but said he had also spoken with two Borger ISD board members, and neither of them had any issues with the variance being granted.