City Council approves 2 liquor store applications

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 2/26/19

Two liquor store application motions were approved Monday by the Cleveland City Council during its regularly scheduled meeting held at the Municipal Building.However, one application was passed …

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City Council approves 2 liquor store applications

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Two liquor store application motions were approved Monday by the Cleveland City Council during its regularly scheduled meeting held at the Municipal Building.

However, one application was passed despite opposition from two council members, Bill Estes and Vice Mayor Avery Johnson, with Estes voicing concern the council was not following the requirements it had outlined in its own liquor store ordinance.

The council unanimously voted to approve an application for Riverstone Wine, Spirits & Brew, to be located at 157 Ocoee Crossing and operated by John Sheehan.

The second application – for City Spirits, to be located at 2845 Keith St., N.W., and operated by Janie Moore – was passed 5-2.

The second application came under scrutiny when it was determined that it had not been received by city staff in time for them to complete criminal background checks for the principles involved, which, in addition to Janie Moore, also includes  Joe S. Moore and James D. Moore.

City Attorney John Kimball said there were two issues regarding the Moore’s application.

“One background check has not been done," Kimball said, adding the applicants have also had beer licenses in the past that need updating.

Kimball also said the store design must meet the 2,000-square-foot display requirement. Although a design has been submitted, Kimball said there is a possibility a different design may be required if the present structure requires an alternate design.

“If they get in there, they may need to come up with a different design that what you already have,” Kimball said.

Councilman Tom Casada said he wanted to move forward with approving the Moore’s application.

“I would like to go ahead and make a motion to approve under the concept that it meets the requirements," Casada said. "I don’t want to hold them up any longer.”

Johnson noted city staff had not had time to completely review the application.

“I’m just wondering if the staff has a list of items they are looking for to make the application process complete,” Johnson said. “I know that staff has said they have not had time to look at it.”

Responding to Johnson, City Manager Joe Fivas said a “preliminary review had not found anything concerning.”

“We see nothing problematic, but we don’t know what we don’t know,” Fivas said of the background checks. All of the criminal background checks have not been processed.”

Fivas said council members could pass the motion subject to conditions listed within the ordinance.

“If we found something after that, then we would notify council and you would be aware of that and take any action," Fivas said.

Estes voiced concern about approving the application for City Spirits, requesting prior to voting that two items be placed within the meeting’s minutes.

“Put two things in the minutes from me,” Estes said. “We are voting for an application that is out of compliance, and we are not keeping this applicant from continuing forward in the process.”

Estes said the vote to approve reflects poorly on the city. 

“There is not a harm to the city,” Estes said. “The only harm is when we don’t follow what we say.”

Cleveland voters passed a liquor store referendum last year which allows package stores to operate in the city for the first time. The measure was passed with 4,887 voting in support of the referendum and 3,762 voting in opposition.

In other business, there were no public comments regarding an ordinance to recognize PUD13 as established in Ordinance 2017-08 as PUD21.

The following consent agenda items were passed:

•Surplus Property – Declaring a 1989 Navastar 4900 Tanker as surplus property

and placed on Govdeals (p. 5).

•Resolution No: 2019-18 – Approving an Emergency Solution Grant application to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency for funding up to $150,000 

The following items were passed in unfinished business:

•Final Passage – Ordinance No: 2019-08 – Amending Sections 8-313(b)(4) of the Municipal Code relative to the documentation requirements for applicants for local liquor store privilege licenses in the City of Cleveland 

The following new business was considered by the city council:

•Ordinance No: 2019-09 – An ordinance to recognize PUD13 as established in Ordinance 2017-08 as PUD21 (Planning Commission: Approved 6:0; 3 members absent) 

•Ordinance No: 2019-10 – Amending the Municipal Code Title 4, Chapter 2 concerning the Occupational Safety and Health Program 

•Motion – Authorizing the submittal of a Letter of Intent to the State of Tennessee Department of Health for Project Diabetes 

•Motion – Concerning the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance and Local Liquor Store Privilege License to Riverstone Wine Spirits and Brew, LLC to be located at 157 Ocoee Crossing.

•Concerning the issuance of a Certificate of Compliance and Local Liquor Store Privilege License to City Spirits, LLC to be located at 2845 Keith St., N.W. 

•Motion – Approving a one-time donation of $5,000 to the Museum Center to fund the Mayor Emeritus Tom Rowland Exhibit (Requested by Mayor Brooks).

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Cleveland City Council will be at 3 p.m. Monday, March 11, following its 1 p.m. work session at the Municipal Building.

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