Keller sets guidelines for liquor stores, distilleries

Keller City Council offered residents a chance to voice their opinions regarding alcohol sales in the city at its Dec. 3 meeting.

Residents voted to allow all alcohol sales within city limits in the Nov. 5 election, the approval of which meant the potential to establish the first liquor store in Keller.

Keller officials had expressed interest in capturing sales tax revenue generated by the alcoholic beverage industry.

“Tax receipts to the state total $2.067 billion per year, while local governments see gains of $0.622 billion per year,” according to one 2008 study conducted by analyst firm The Perryman Group.

Ultimately, the proposition passed with nearly 70% of the vote.

The city is estimated to benefit from about $218,000 in additional annual revenue, Council Member Tag Green said at the meeting.

“This is going to keep a lot of tax dollars in our city that would have otherwise gone to neighboring cities,” Mayor Pat McGrail said.

It could also bring visitors from other areas as well, he said.

But because the city’s development code lacked provisions for alcohol sales, a public hearing was held at the Dec. 3 meeting to discuss the needed amendments to guide potential commercial prospects.

The proposed amendments include a definition for a “distillery” and zoning guidelines for where a distillery may operate.

No speaker participated in the public hearing. City Council approved the amendments with a 7-0 vote.

With the vote, Keller recognizes any “facility that manufactures, purifies, and refines distilled spirits” as a distillery, according to meeting documents. These facilities will be allowed in certain areas of Keller.

Retail zoning district

A distillery with a 1,500-square-foot tasting room is allowed by right. But a standalone distillery or a liquor store requires a specific-use permit given by City Council, according to a staff presentation. Liquor stores must be at least 10,000 square feet.

These provisions also apply to the commercial and light-industrial zoning districts.

Town center zoning district

Either a distillery with a 1,500-square-foot tasting room or a liquor store requires a specific-use permit from City Council.

Old town Keller zoning district

A distillery with a 1,500-square-foot tasting room is allowed with a specific-use permit.

Katy Road zoning district

A standalone distillery is permitted if it obtains a specific-use permit.
By Renee Yan

Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.


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