Why do bad business owners seem to flock to South Downtown?
We believe that liquor stores that are allowed to operate independent of the law are a HUGE problem for the entire city of Atlanta. Food Stamp Fraud, Illegal drug activity, code violations run rampant alongside the presence of a legal liquor license. Currently the liquor license board cannot use the community or NPU input when it comes to issuing a liquor license in the City of Atlanta. Currently the liquor license board cannot use code violations or other infractions as a reason for denial of liquor license. That means if a community DOES NOT want a liquor store in their community they have no choice but to accept one under the current laws. This means if a liquor store owner has been cited for food stamp fraud they can still be issued a liquor license. This means if the owner has violated the liquor laws in another county this cannot be used as criteria for denying a liquor license.
What is a nuisance neighborhood store?
- A building owner or store owner that has a consistent history of above average 911 calls and arrest records in relation to other liquor stores in the area.
- A building owner or store owner that has been cited for breaking the liquor license laws (i.e. Selling to a minor)
- A building owner or store owner that refuses to install security cameras, hire security officers or police to address the ongoing criminal behavior at their location
- A building owner or store owner that refuses to work with the at large community to provide a mutually beneficial store that is profitable and benefits that members of the community that reside in the area (i.e. frequently these owner’s product line caters to people from outside the community that are coming to buy drugs, etc)
- A building owner or store owner that has a continuous history of code violations including (i.e. food stamp fraud, selling expired food, broken windows, etc)
At tonight’s meeting of the City’s License Review Board (LRB), Kwanza and his Downtown constituents learned just how hard it is to revoke the alcohol license of a convenience store in the City of Atlanta.
- For years, Downtown neighbors have complained that the Fox Market, 90 Broad Street SW 30303, is the single greatest impediment to improving the south Broad Street area. District 2 constituents have called and e-mailed Kwanza for years about illegal activities inside and immediately outside the property.
- At tonight’s meeting, and after considerable discussion, the LRB fined the owner for selling alcohol to a minor. Downtown residents were told that a fine is the usual first step taken by the LRB in this instance. To their credit, board members made it clear that if the owner of Fox Market is brought before them for other offenses in the future, they will exercise their right to suspend or revoke the owner’s permit to sell alcohol.
- As the City’s intown population increases and becomes denser, convenience stores that were once able to operate without much oversight will become objects of greater scrutiny by residents and other neighbors.
- As a result of tonight’s meeting, Kwanza is considering introducing legislation that would trigger automatic sanctions, such as suspensions of permits for a period of time, on businesses that sell alcohol to minors. If you think this is an overreaction to a decision that affects only District 2, ask the LRB how many alcohol permits they have revoked, citywide, in the last decade…
Update: The owner of the liquor store was fined $1000. Kwanza Hall had this to say on his District 2 Facebook page.
Ongoing Challenges with 90 Broad Street Fox Market
Together with the APD and our NPU (Neighborhood Planning Unit), we are working to revoke the liquor license of a Broad Street storeowner who operates a business supportive of drug dealing and other criminal activity, including prostitution and sales of alcohol to minors. 90 Fox Market has contributed to a host of problems that advance the decline of Broad Street, between Mitchell Street and MLK. In the past four years there have been over six-hundred and fifty 911 calls to 90 Broad Street, Fox Market. There have been over seventy arrests (most of them 16-13-30, drug offenses)