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Business owner rethinks beer permit request
Pack's store would need one bathroom
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One business owner who had hoped to obtain a beer permit for his establishment decided to withdraw his application and rethink his business strategy.
Charles L. Pack, owner of Larry’s Road House located on Old Harrison Ferry Road, had applied for a beer permit and went before the county Beer Board. Pack’s background check came back clear but guidelines permitting beer to be sold by an establishment provided hurdles in his quest for a permit.
Guidelines require the business selling beer to be a minimum of 300 feet from the nearest residence. The committee agreed the nearest homes would very likely measure out to meet this requirement but expressed concern about the proximity of the two churches on Highway 56.
Guidelines also require a distance of at least 2,000 feet from the business selling beer to a church. The distance must be measured in a straight line from the nearest points on the two properties.
Beer Board chairman Teddy Boyd said he had not had an opportunity to measure the distance from Larry’s Road House to the two churches. He stated that although churches located on Highway 8 would not be an issue, there were two churches on Highway 56 past the old Kingwood Foodland building that possibly would measure out to be less than 2,000 feet away from the business location.
County Executive John Pelham said he had been contacted by an individual who questioned whether restroom facilities were available at Larry’s Road House. Pack’s application was for an on- and off-premises permit, and Pelham said he made several contacts to research the issue.
Pelham said Joel Worsham at the Health Department confirmed at least one restroom would be required if patrons were consuming beer at the location.
Pelham also said Kyle Phillips of the local Groundwater Protection office confirmed no application for a septic tank and field lines or an inspection had been requested through his office. Pelham said Phillips further noted that sewer was not an option since the nearest sewer access to the building in question was at the Dollar General Store on Highway 56, which is a significant distance from Pack’s business.  
Pack confirmed there are no restrooms in the building but that he is working on building a restroom at this time. The committee reminded Pack that no application had been received in Phillips’ office and that any work of this type would require a permit through Phillips’ office.
Pelham also said there must be sufficient land for the initial system as well as a replacement or backup system if ever needed. According to Pelham, the business is located on one-tenth of an acre. The small size of the lot presents an automatic concern as to whether there would be sufficient area for the septic tank and lines.
Pack said he has considered installing a tank and having it pumped rather than using field lines. The committee advised him that either system would require approval through Phillips’ office.
A person who lives close to the proposed site, Tyrone Sparkman, attended the meeting and expressed concern that safety issues would be a serious consideration due to the small lot having limited parking availability. 
Pack said his building is 42 feet by 36 feet, or approximately 1,200 square feet. He also informed the committee he had been made aware of the restroom issue earlier in the week and that based on the concern expressed by neighbors, as well as the information he had learned during this meeting regarding installation of restroom facilities, he planned to pursue purchasing another piece of property and not use this location for the sale of beer.
Commissioner Charles Morgan said the two main issues with Pack’s application were verification of the distance from churches and the availability of restroom facilities.
Pack expressed his appreciation for the committee’s willingness to consider the application but stated he felt it best at this time to withdraw the application.
There is a non-refundable beer permit application fee of $250. Because Pack withdrew his application, the committee discussed the possibility of transferring the fee to Pack’s next application based on his intention to obtain another location. No action was taken and the county attorney will be contacted to determine whether a transfer or refund is allowed. The committee will consider this issue at its next meeting.
Beer Board members present were Teddy Boyd, Sally Brock, Ron Lee and Charles Morgan. Commissioner Les Trotman was absent.