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Loganville Package Store Licenses To Be Decided by April Lottery

The Loganville City Council voted to permit one package store each in the Gwinnett and Walton ends of town. The application process opens Jan. 2 and the two successful applicants will be chosen by lottery on April 11.

The Loganville City Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to hold separate lotteries for two package stores in town -- one in Gwinnett County and one in Walton County. Councilman Skip Baliles was the only dissenting vote. The council also voted to open the process on Jan. 2, 2013. The lotteries will take place in April. The applications will cost $200 to file and the successful applicants will pay $4,500 each for the licenses.

"We will advertise to open the application on Jan. 2 and we will accept applications until Jan. 31," said City Manager Bill Jones. "We then have until Feb. 28 to do our due diligence. Because of a 20 day appeal process from time of qualifying, that would take us to March 28 to allow for an appeal. The lottery will then be held on April 11."

Jones said there would be two licenses issued, one in each county and applicants will need to have either property or a confirmed lease on property in the relevant county in order to qualify. Under Georgia law, no more than two licenses for a package store can be held by any one applicant. Jones said if an applicant holds no other license, and had qualifying property in both Walton and Gwinnett County, the applicant could effectively submit an application for each lottery.

"They would have to have a qualified application for both and would have to pay the application fee on each," Jones said, adding every entry in the lottery would have to be qualified entries. "And all design plans have to be submitted at the time of the application."

Jones said at the moment about 15 potential applicants have expressed an interest in being considered for a package store in the city. He said the applicants are split over both counties - some for each. 

The measure was approved by voters after a drive by one of the potential applicants to get the issue on the ballot in November. Georgia law, however, does not make it possible to give that person an edge in the process. The city of Grayson had run into this problem earlier in the year. Joe Kalish, who had organized the petition drive for Grayson, did not end up being the successful applicant. That went to Richard Tucker who has since opened Beverage Superstore of Grayson.

giving the person behind the petition drive some sort of benefit for his initiative. However, since that is not possible, the person behind Loganville's successful petition drive will have to take his chances on the lottery along with everyone else.

Michelle Couch November 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM
I absolutely agree with this process. Applicants are well qualified and it seems fair to all that apply. No bias, favorites or decisions made prior to the process. This seems to take the politics out of the game. Well done Loganville. Of course, I'll be crossing my fingers for the petition drive originator. It is a major chunk of money to invest in an effort that is so uncertain. Good luck applicants!
Brenda Lee November 29, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Since the law requires that the applicants "own property or a confirmed lease" in order to submit an application, maybe the state legislature could enact an additional law that ALL the applicants MUST reimburse an appropriate percentage of the cost for funding the original petition drive. GRRR!!! I'm all for free market but this is designed in such a way that significantly undermines the process with one entity taking all the monetary risk for the petition drive while the others sit and wait with no investment in the petition process.
Michelle Couch November 29, 2012 at 02:17 PM
I couldn't agree more Brenda! The requirement for property ownership or confirmed lease is spot-on; of course there will always be room for fraud where the confirmed lease is concerned.

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