Sunday, November 19th, 2017

City finds variance not required for Allsup’s

The City of Clarendon tonight canceled a public hearing that had been set for next Tuesday regarding an alcohol variance request by Allsup’s Convenience Store.

Mayor Sandy Skelton made the announcement during the regular city council meeting May 25 that he was canceling the May 30 hearing because recently discovered case law made Allsup’s variance request unnecessary.

The store is in contract to buy property directly across from Bronco Stadium. According to city ordinance, alcohol cannot be sold on a property within 300 feet of a public school. The city therefore believed that Allsup’s would have to request a variance from that rule.

But Thursday afternoon, City Administrator David Dockery learned about a 1970 court case which determined that a football stadium is “not a public school within the meaning of the statute.” Dockery forwarded that information to the city’s attorney, who in turn determined that Allsup’s does not need to apply for a variance.

Clarendon School Superintendent Mike Norrell was attending tonight’s city meeting and raised the question of if the school’s functional living center was within the 300 feet rule. He and Dockery then actually left the meeting to go measure and came back in agreement that the distance to the center is 366 feet.

City officials say the Allsup’s project can go forward and they will be returning the company’s variance request fee.

“This information was just discovered today,” Dockery said after the meeting. “I apologize for the inconvenience and any disruption that the variance or the setting of a public hearing caused.

Norrell said that he will be sending the case law to the school’s attorney for due diligence on the school’s part.

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