Councilman proposes bill for city to buy land where controversial liquor store plans to open

The Jacksonville City Council will consider a plan on Tuesday night to buy the land where a controversial liquor store is expected to open in Brentwood.

Neighbors said they don’t want any more liquor stores in their neighborhood, and they’re concerned about how close it is to KIPP Voice Academy.

Lydia Faida Bell, president of the Metro Gardens Neighborhood Association, said there is no place for another liquor store in this community.

“Businesses are supposed to represent your community and every store — even if the school wasn’t there, we don’t need another liquor store in Brentwood,” Bell said. “Every store in Brentwood sells alcohol. “

City Councilman Al Ferraro is proposing a bill that would allow the city to buy the property for half a million dollars and replace it with a community center. Ferraro wants to use money that was originally set aside to move the Confederate monument in Springfield to buy this land.

It’s unclear how much support Ferraro’s bill has. He is term-limited, and the council plans to vote on new leadership Thursday, so this issue could fall on the new council’s plate.

According to the bill, the school wasn’t built when the liquor store owner applied for a zoning exception, but it was planned and discussed during the approval process for the zoning exception.

Ferraro’s bill also argues that there is another liquor store, NFL Liquor, 1,000 feet to the east and that an additional store will not benefit the community.

If approved, the city would still have to negotiate with the owner, who has already said he is renovating the building for it to open.

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