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After residents raise concerns, City Council delays vote on liquor license

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The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday delayed a vote to grant a liquor license for a store in the Belview Heights community. (Ariel Worthy Photos, The Birmingham Times)
By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday delayed a vote to grant a liquor license for a store in the Belview Heights community after more than a dozen residents showed up in opposition and the applicant did not.

Most of the concerns were that the business –at 4000 Avenue I in Belview Heights –if approved, would open near a daycare.

“We are not in favor of a liquor store being in the area,” said resident Loretta Brown. “We feel that this would create additional traffic in the area, and it would be a nuisance and it would not be safe.”

Residents raise concerns during the City Council meeting. The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday delayed a vote to grant a liquor license for a store in the Belview Heights community. (Ariel Worthy Photos, The Birmingham Times)

Mary Nelson, 89, who said she has lived in Belview Heights for 36 years, said she does not want to see a liquor store coming into her neighborhood because “we have enough trouble already without a liquor store.”

“People have been getting killed and doing a whole lot of stuff there, and I’ve seen a lot of stuff,” she said. “I ask you to please not put a liquor store there. There are so many other things you could do for the children.”

Councilor Steven Hoyt – who represents the district where the proposed business is located –  said this is the second time the item had been delayed. “It was delayed last week because the neighborhood had not been notified that it was coming before us,” he said.

Councilor Lashunda Scales said the applicant had to have notice because the neighborhood was at the meeting.

There are several reasons the council can deny a liquor license, Hoyt said, including the business is a nuisance, is in proximity of a daycare or school or causes traffic congestion.

“They can have just one (reason for us to deny it),” Hoyt said. “Traffic would be a challenge because there isn’t a light there. It is also a route in which children walk to school. Others walk their children to daycare.”

Hoyt said he has always been for business in his neighborhood, “but it has to be a friendly business . . and the business cannot impede on our quality of life,” he said. “I’m inclined to be supportive of the denial of the license based on traffic and based on it being in proximity of the daycare.”