Liquor store opposition mounts in Forsyth County

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CUMMING, Ga. — Kat Green, a Fieldstone Preserve resident, moved to the west Forsyth area six years ago to avoid the “crime” in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

But a proposed liquor store near her subdivision is raising concerns for Green and other Fieldstone Preserve residents.

Tito & Bambam, doing business as “Westside Beverage,” has made an application for an alcohol license to sell distilled spirits, malt beverages and wine by the package at 3310 Drew Campground Road in Cumming.

The concern for Green is that the liquor store will be too close to West Forsyth High School, the Post Road Library and near a McDonald’s and CVS Pharmacy frequented by teenagers.

Although liquor stores can legally sell 200 yards from a high school, the proposed location is about 280 extra yards from the high school.

“We already have a problem with teenagers loitering at the McDonald’s and the CVS Pharmacy,” Green said. “There have been vandalism problems as well, and this is going to continue.”

Green said she’s concerned about the area’s home value depreciation and crime related to homes located near liquor stores.

“I’ve done my research and have looked up several analyses and research that states that this is a problem,” Green said.

Green, who has a middle-school-aged daughter, points to studies that show a rise in underage drinking, alcohol-related deaths and violent crimes linked to the proximity to liquor stores.

Land broker Ray Martin told her the lot will be developed to a 12,000-square-foot multi-vendor store front, including the liquor store.

Green said she’s on a campaign to raise awareness about the liquor store opening in the neighborhood, including voicing her opposition with calls to county commissioners and Board of Education members.

And just because a liquor store has opened, it doesn’t mean teens will frequent it or the establishment will sell to minors — right?

Green said that it’s “very easy to ask an adult to pay for it.”

“I look at several articles related to teenagers purchasing alcohol through adults and paying the adults extra money to buy the alcohol,” she said.

The public hearing on the liquor license for Westside Beverage is Thursday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m. in the commissioners’ meeting room on the second floor of the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 East Main St., Suite 220 in Cumming.

The applicant did not return phone calls by our Friday deadline.

FH-8-27