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Sep 10, 2013 8:03 PM by Brian White

City Council changes mind on Walmart's liquor license

TUCSON - The new Walmart at El Con mall may soon be selling liquor.

The Tucson City Council is considering a request for the big box store to have a liquor license.

Back in July the state liquor board rejected that request. The new Walmart's been a thorn in the side of area homeowners and many oppose the location.

Residents are worried about the noise and disruptions from its 24-hour operation.

Here are some notes from tonight's agenda:

Liquor License Application: Wal-Mart Supercenter #3884
3435 E. Broadway Boulevard (Ward 6)

Issue - The City Attorney will provide an update regarding the series #10 liquor license
application for the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 3435 E. Broadway Boulevard.
City Manager's Office Recommendation - The City Manager recommends that the Mayor and
Council give appropriate direction to the City Attorney following his update regarding this
license application.


Background - On March 19, 2013, after considering the referenced liquor license application
and hearing related testimony and protests, the Mayor and Council unanimously approved a
motion recommending disapproval of the requested license. The matter then proceeded to the
Arizona State Liquor Board, which conducted a lengthy hearing on July 11, 2013. Following
that hearing, the Board denied the application for a liquor license at this location.

In its written Order denying the license, the Board set forth its Findings of Fact in support of the decision,
specifically citing the "volume of protests surrounding issues regarding the time of liquor sales,
disruption, the increase of crime related to alcohol sales, and the close proximity to the
neighborhood indicate public opposition to the issuance of a liquor license at this location."
Based on these findings, the Board concluded that the applicant failed to satisfy its burden of
showing that the public convenience requires and the best interests of the community would be
substantially served by the issuance of the license.

Following this Order, representatives from Wal-Mart and from the nearby Homeowners'
Associations (Colonia Solana, El Encanto) engaged in discussions and negotiations in an attempt
to reach an agreement that would resolve issues that prompted opposition and protests to the
license application. Wal-Mart also filed a Request for Rehearing in front of the Board, seeking a
reversal of the Order denying the license.
The negotiations between Wal-Mart and the Associations were successful, and on September 6th,
the parties executed an agreement that includes the following terms:

1. Wal-Mart shall limit the hours that it will be open to the public from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00
p.m., with certain exceptions (the store will be open continuously on Thanksgiving
through the subsequent Saturday; and will be open until midnight from that Sunday
through New Year's Day).

2. Wal-Mart will not apply for a series 9 liquor application (which would allow sale of all
liquors, rather than just beer and wine) for at least 2 years following the "Grand Opening"
of the store (scheduled for September 11, 2013).

3. 3. Wal-Mart will not sell firearms or ammunition at this store while it holds a liquor license
of any series at this location.

4. The Associations will submit letters to the Liquor Board withdrawing their opposition
and protests to the issuance of the series 10 (beer and wine) license application.

5. The Associations will attempt to secure the withdrawal of protests filed by individual
persons who are not members of those Associations.
The agreement is conditioned upon the Board's reversal of the Order denying the license
application. The Liquor Board is scheduled to hear the Request for Rehearing on September 12,
2013.

Recommendation and Legal Considerations - The City Attorney will be present at today's
Study Session to provide information and answer questions regarding this matter. Based upon
the execution of the agreement described above, the City Attorney will ask that the Mayor and
Council authorize and direct him to take a position at the September 12th hearing that
acknowledges that the Mayor and Council's recommendation for disapproval on March 19th was
based in large part upon the public opposition and protests; and that given that the parties have
reached the above agreement resolving the issues that prompted those protests, the City Attorney
will offer no objection to the

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