A controversial liquor store planned along Sixes Road at the location of the abandoned Shell station will come before city council members Monday evening for a final vote.
Several area residents have spoken out against the store, arguing that they don’t need another liquor store and that they didn’t want it to be first thing people saw when entering the Sixes community.
Though city planners voted 3-1 to recommend granting the conditional use permit at their November meeting, Holly Springs city staff has recommended a denial of the applicant’s request for a permit after learning the property owner had a history of paying taxes late and selling alcohol to minors. Community Development Director Nancy Moon told council members at their meeting two weeks ago that a title search showed there were tax liens on the property of the proposed store.
Moon said the city’s zoning ordinance requires compliance with Chapter 6 of the city’s municipal code, which says an alcohol permit can be denied if an applicant or their associates are “delinquent in the payment of any property tax or other tax or license fee payable to the city, the county or the state.”
Vincent Infanti, the applicant in the case, said the owner of the abandoned gas station at 700 Sixes Road plans to demolish the “eyesore” of a structure and create a high-end bottle shop that “looks like a nice country store” from the outside.
The store, he said, would sell beer, wine, premium spirits and feature a cigar humidor offering Cubans.
Leading the charge against the liquor store are members of the board of directors for the Falls of Cherokee Homeowner’s Association.
Secretary John Marinko previously told the Tribune there were several reasons he and his neighbors opposed the store.
Chief among their concerns, he said, was the safety of motorists turning into the location, the store’s appearance and the fear that a liquor store could become the target of robbers looking to make a quick getaway back onto Interstate 575.
Sixes resident Debra Frieden told council members that property owner Jay Patel’s store had a history of selling alcohol to minors, receiving numerous violations over the years when he ran a Shell station at the location.
Records show the store was cited for selling alcohol to minors on several occasions over the years and had its license suspended for 90 days in 2008 following the store’s third offense.
“I’m very concerned about the package store proposal because of who’s involved,” Frieden told council members two weeks ago, adding that the owner was sued by the Georgia Lottery for more than $33,000 in 2011.
She said Saturday the area was growing around a beautiful landmark and that she didn’t think a package store was “a good neighborly fit for the historic mill and Sixes Road area.”
“This is the front door to Holly Springs,” Frieden said. “A vote to deny a package store for this location, now and in the future, is good, future forward thinking.”
Council members are slated to vote whether to grant the conditional use permit necessary to open the liquor store following Monday evening’s 6:30 p.m. work session.