Snellville to consider Sunday alcohol sales, extended hours

SNELLVILLE -- It's become almost a biannual ritual for Snellville residents. Next month, Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer and city council members will again consider an ordinance allowing Sunday sales of alcohol and extended hours for those sales.

A public hearing and action by the council will take place at the Dec. 14 meeting. Councilwoman Kelly Kautz made clear Monday evening that she will not support the ordinance for two reasons.

"I'm going to vote against the first reading... I think the state law requires a referendum," said Kautz in reference to the issue of alcohol sales.

Kautz disagrees with City Attorney Mike Williams' opinion that the matter can be decided by the governing panel following a public hearing.

Former council member Robert Jenkins took the opportunity Monday evening to fire the first shot in what promises to be a fiery debate next month.

"I was not surprised to see (Sunday sales) on tonight's agenda," Jenkins said to Oberholtzer during the 'citizen comments" portion of Monday night's council meeting.

"I was surprised to see extended hours on here and no referendum," Jenkins added, as he accused Oberholtzer of using his "three puppets" on council to "circumvent the people." Jenkins was referring to mayor Pro Tem Barbara Bender, councilman Tod Warner and newly elected councilman Tom Witts, who won Jenkins' council seat on Nov. 3.

Rezoning denied

A rezoning request for residential property located at 1724 North Road was denied Monday, following a public hearing in which several citizens spoke in opposition to the request.

The owner and applicant, Michael Britt, asked for Office/Professional zoning in order to build a 12,000- square-foot professional office building. With Wal-Mart and Home Depot located nearby, Britt's representative said commercial use for the now vacant lot only makes sense.

Area homeowners disagreed, stating that the section of North Road in question is already too congested with traffic. Some also stated that there are many vacant office buildings in Snellville already.

Oberholtzer and council members voted unanimously to deny the rezoning request.

Previous owners of this property have petitioned for zoning changes and have been denied.