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Package Store Petition Drive May Soon Be Underway in Dacula

Person with experience in the alcohol industry has expressed interest in building a package store within the city limits.

Just months after , Dacula residents may soon be asked another alcohol sales related question.

According to , an individual with experience in the alcohol industry has approached the city regarding building a package store within the city limits.

In a post on the City of Dacula website, Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks wrote, “City staff explained the legal requirements, and the person has chosen to continue with the first step in the legal process, a petition drive.”

Wilbanks noted the city receives several questions each year regarding package stores and added the petition drive is not an initiative of the city.

When reached by email, Wilbanks indicated the petitioner intends to go door-to-door collecting signatures. Wilbanks explained the petitioner would need to get signatures from 35 percent of the city’s registered voters (approximately 900 voters) and have the signatures verified by the state in order for the issue to be put to a referendum.

The petitioner hopes to obtain enough signatures to have the referendum added to the November ballot, Wilbanks wrote.

Even if the petitioner obtains enough signatures and the referendum passes, there is no guarantee a license would be issued.

Wilbanks explained that if the issue makes it on the ballot and passes, the process would still not be complete. Before a package store could open, the city’s alcohol ordinance would first have to be revised. The city would then begin the process of vetting applications, approving licensees and submitting required paperwork to the state. At a minimum, a petitioner would then have to go through the development permit/building permit process, apply for an occupational tax certificate and pass subsequent inspections required for the issuance of an occupational tax certificate, Wilbanks indicated. 

If the petition drive is successful and the issue is placed on the November ballot, will you vote to allow package stores within the city limits of Dacula? If you are not a city resident, would you like to see a package store built in Dacula? Let us know in the comments.

Dawn Hine Roberson April 19, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Yes most Definetly. Come over to Ivey chase so we all can sign that petition
Theresa Coor April 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM
NO package store. Let the drunks go somewhere else. There is enough people on the roads, we don't need drunks driving on roads in Dacula.
Lenee April 19, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I totally agree with it and would vote yes. Why go to another city or county when we can support another local business? The reality of it all is people are going to buy it anyway, why not buy it right here? My husband and I have often thought about opening a package store because in the event you need anything besides beer or wine~ you have to drive out of your way to get it. Not having one in town doesn't keep people from going to other cities to buy it, so why not?
chuck marek April 19, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Absolutly , get with the times.
MDG April 19, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I don’t drink alcohol – so the availability of the store doesn’t matter. I don’t live in the city of Dacula, but I live just outside the town limits, I do shop here and feel I am a member of the overall community. I honestly feel the current city code against package stores is very puritan and quite outdated. Look back at the voting outcome for ‘Sunday Sales’, both in the city and county – the support for allowing choice and free market decisions by retail and restaurants is there. If understand the above article correctly, it sounds like the city’s petition drive process is daunting and nearly impossible – probably making someone happy. For those who don’t support Package Stores because of your personal beliefs – I respect that, but I ask you to respect other’s personal beliefs as well, again allowing for free market decisions by retailers. The city should consider the modern times. Maybe the City Council should vote to place the question on the November ballot themselves, and then adjust the city code by the will of the voters.
CM April 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
seriously.... you think just because there are no "package stores" in Dacula that people are not driving while impaired..... you can buy beer and wine at the grocery store and you can get a liquor drink when you go out to dinner... BTW, I don't drink... but I have no problem with a store....
North Georgia Weather April 19, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Would sure beat driving to Suwanee!
MDG April 19, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Lenee, to continue your thought and mine from earlier... The town of Dacula could also just lose tax revenue opportunities, as the investor/retailer could just build his package store just outside the town limits, like the shopping mall out there on Fence Rd @ Mulberry Place...
joe April 19, 2012 at 07:35 PM
What does having a package store got to do with people driving drunk on the road ???????? That has got to be one of the most ridiculous statements I have read on here yet. It is no different than someone buying beer or wine at a grocery store.
joe April 19, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I say lets keep Dacula tax dollars here in Dacula. For those who don't want it, don't shop there. For those of us who do, we are going to buy it from somewhere, i get mine either in Suwanee or Duluth. If there is one here, it will mean less driving and emissions in the air.
joe April 19, 2012 at 07:42 PM
"MGB" Only one problem with that, Package stores are currently not allowed at all in unincorporated Gwinnett. All of the stores that are operating in the county are in city limits. But i have a feeling that may come up for a vote also in the next few years.
paige A. Arnette April 19, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I;m all for it, so tired of having to drive to Houshton or Suwanee, keep the money in Dacula, and like Lenee lets support another business in the community.
Theresa Coor April 19, 2012 at 09:08 PM
fine, bring on the package store, if everyone wants a package store, who am I to disagree with everyone else.
Kristi Reed (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I spoke with the man who is spearheading the petition drive today. I'll have details posted in the morning. Here's a teaser for you: The petitioner said conservative estimates place annual sales tax revenue from a store such as the one he is proposing at $600,000 -- an amount roughly equal to what the City of Dacula currently collects in property tax revenues.
Melissa April 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Can't wait
AgtOrange April 20, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Make them occupy one of the many, many empty stores in the ghost town shopping center where Scoops used to be. Maybe the foot traffic would rejuvinate that place.
Kristi Reed (Editor) April 20, 2012 at 09:27 AM
I was thinking the same thing - that shopping center would be a good place for this business. There is a lot of space there, but the petitioner has plans to build a store instead of lease.
Jenn April 21, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Who can say no to that?? Bring it.

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