ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A gas station wants to get approval to sell alcohol, but residents are worried. The Maverick gas station near Juan Tabo and Copper, just north of I-40, is asking the city to approve their application. They submitted a special exception request to the city; they’re asking to get a conditional use to allow for liquor retail sales within 500 feet of a residential zone.
The gas station put up a sign notifying residents about their request. Residents say they’re concerned about how this will impact their neighborhood. “If you wanna drink, drink but you know they don’t have to sell it right here. It should be somewhere in the city where you have to travel to go get it, they don’t have to be at my doorstep,” says a resident named Mary.
People living nearby say they’re opposed to the idea because they say there are already a lot of homeless in the area and feel this will attract more. They believe this will lead to a safety issue. “The convenience factor and being close to a residential area could sort of be detrimental to that area too,” says Douglas Stuart, a resident. “I feel like it would be worse. I have little children living here, I’m a grandmother,” says Mary.
A public hearing was held yesterday, but some residents say it was held during business hours when they couldn’t attend. Councilor Renee Grout says she’s also opposed to the idea. She says this will negatively impact neighborhoods. “I just think that the area is not, we do have a lot of transients in the area and we’re trying to clean up the area and I don’t think that that can help the situation,” says Renee Grout, City Councilor.
The Planning Department says the special exception request sign was posted 15 days before the hearing. They also say Maverick mailed a notice to all residents within 100 feet of the property.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Maverick public relations to ask them about the concerns of neighbors but has not heard back. The zoning hearing examiner will make a decision on Apr. 5 and, depending on the decision, either side will have until Apr. 20 to appeal.