Canton residents will be able to decide whether to allow liquor package sales within city limits through a referendum in November’s election.

The Canton City Council voted Thursday to call a referendum, which will ask voters whether to allow liquor package sales within city limits in the Nov. 2 election.

Residents will also be able to vote on the referendum through early voting options, City Manager Billy Peppers said Monday.

The state legislature recently approved a bill allowing for the call of a referendum for retail package sales of distilled spirits in Georgia, without requiring a voter petition process. This bill was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp.

“Prior to this bill, the only way to add liquor package sales for a city was for a percentage of registered voters to petition the local government to have the item placed on the ballot as a referendum,” Peppers said Friday. “In Canton, that number required had eclipsed 7,000 signatures and continues to grow each year.”

Citizens can also still initiate a referendum through the petition process, Peppers said.

Also at their meeting Thursday, the city council voted to extend a moratorium on gas stations and convenience stores with fuel pumps through November. The moratorium began late last month. During Thursday’s city council meeting, Mayor Bill Grant appointed council members Sandy McGrew, Will Carlan, and Brooke Schmidt to work on ordinance changes. McGrew brought up concerns about gas stations and fuel pumps last month, citing too many convenience stores coming to the city, as well as the close proximity of said stores.

The council also voted to allow a developer to withdraw an annexation application to build 150 homes across 75 acres at Old Doss Lane. The city council previously expressed their concerns regarding annexing the land into the city, citing right-of-way and road improvement issues as major problems.


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