Tonight the Waco City Council will vote on whether to allow small groceries to sell beer and wine in Central Waco. The change might attract more small grocery stores to downtown.
Felix Landry, a city planner with the City of Waco, says grocery stores have been interested in opening up in the area, but businesses have found alcohol rules in the zoning code too restrictive.
"There were a number of cases where the problem we ran into really was the zoning—it was a great location, but the zoning just didn’t allow it," Landry said. "We thought with the growing need for grocery stores downtown this would be an easy change to make that wouldn’t influence the distance requirements."
Businesses aren't allowed to sell alcohol within 300 feet of schools, churches or child care facilities. Stores affected by the change would have to be no larger than 20,000 square feet and get over 75 percent of their sales from food, nonalcoholic beverages and household items.