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Norcross removes alcohol buffers near churches

NORCROSS - By a vote of 3-2 Monday night, Norcross City Council members removed previously set 100-yard buffers between churches and businesses with alcohol pouring licenses.

The 100-yard barrier between these businesses and schools remains in place.

Councilman David McLeroy moved to deny the ordinance amendment, which would have kept the distance barrier in place near churches. Councilman Jeff Allen seconded McLeroy's motion, but councilman Keith Shewbert responded to the motion by saying that he was under the impression that the council was in agreement to change the ordinance and lift the barrier around churches for the sake of further developing the Norcross downtown district.

"Denying this amendment is against the will of the people," Shewbert said, adding that cafes, shops and restaurants are necessary additions to the area.

McLeroy responded by reminding council members that the barrier around churches would be lifted citywide, not just in downtown Norcross.

McLeroy and Allen cast the two votes against amending the ordinance; Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Riehm and Councilmen Terry Bowie and Keith Shewbert voted in favor of the change.