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Sugar Hill OKs beer, wine license to station

SUGAR HILL - The Sugar Hill City Council on Monday approved a beer and wine sales license of a service station whose license it had denied four weeks ago.

At its monthly public meeting, the council approved Ali Naqvi's application to sell beer and wine at the Sugar Hill Citgo at 5243 Nelson Brogdon Blvd., near Bailey Avenue. With the approval, the Citgo, which required new licensing following changes of ownership, became one of eight stations within the city that sell alcohol by package, in addition to five restaurants that sell by the drink.

A month ago, Sugar Hill denied Wayeez Jinnah's license application for the same Citgo because the station had been cited for an unlicensed sale in August. Illegal sale is one of nine explicit reasons for license refusal, according to Sugar Hill code. Other reasons include proximity to churches, schools and playgrounds, as well as attitudes of nearby residents.

Naqvi was grateful for license approval, having struggled without revenue from alcohol sales since buying the station on Sept. 17. He said shoppers often became angry he wasn't selling alcohol.

"We had so much money invested (in the station), and without beer and wine, we were struggling," Naqvi said. "People were cussing us out because they came in for cigarettes and beer, and we didn't have any. They'd almost start a fight."

In a separate council action, Mayor Gary Pirkle swore in Marla King as the newest appointed member of the city's five-member planning commission. King, a realtor, welcomed the challenge of completing the three-year term of Shohn Tanner, who left the commission to run for Nick Thompson's council seat.

King said she's familiar with duties of planning commissioners, considering her father is one in her hometown of Dothan, Ala. Having been active for an estimated 15 years in her children's schools and PTA in Sugar Hill, King considered this a logical next step.

"I'm looking forward to seeing this area develop," she said. "(Planning commission) is just more education."