ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A neighborhood has successfully stopped a 7-Eleven from selling alcohol, at least for now. The beverage battle, however, may not be over.
Neighbors fear if the convenience store at Washington and Lomas is able to sell alcohol, problems for their community will get worse.
Margaret Sanchez, an attendant at Washington Speed Wash, a laundromat, petitioned against the convenience store’s push to sell booze.
“We have the homeless sleeping in the alleyway, and with them selling alcohol, we’re just going to have more.” she said.
“This is a family-owned laundromat. We would like to keep it family friendly,” Sanchez said.
Last week, the City of Albuquerque’s zoning hearing examiner denied the convenience store’s request to sell alcohol, citing a slew of concerns raised by neighborhood members and associations.
“If alcohol starts getting sold there, I would expect to see what you see at a lot of other 7-Elevens where alcohol is being sold, which is vagrants coming by, hanging out, drinking beer, begging for money,” said Victor Francisco Lopez, executive director of Learners Chess Academy. It is located by the 7-Eleven.
Lopez expects the 7-Eleven to file an appeal. During their initial case, the convenience store argued that it wouldn’t sell “minis” and “40s” so that customers would not drink on the premises. Their case also noted that Lomas is a major arterial road and indicated that approval of their request would reduce traffic of people buying alcohol elsewhere.
The convenience store did not respond to request for comment during KRQE News 13’s initial news story in March, and a representative from Southwest Convenience Stores LLC did not respond for request for comment Wednesday.
An appeal must be filed by June 15. If it is, the case would be heard within 45 days.