CONNIE SWINNEY• PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Economic Development Corp. officials said extending areas that allow for the sale and the consumption of alcohol on premises could coax more businesses and jobs to the community.
As a result, EDC officials are circulating a petition to gather hundreds of signatures to allow for a local option election in May.
“It doesn’t help us if there are inconsistent areas where on-premises alcohol consumption is allowed and where it’s not,” EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher said.
The effort was prompted by a business, Save the World Brewery, under construction in the Marble Falls Business and Technology Park, located just off U.S. 281 North.
Brewery owners told EDC officials they would like the option of opening an area to sell and serve customers at their bottling facility.
The business park is considered a “partially wet” area of Burnet County, but it is not included in the current zone created during the last local option election in 1988 in Marble Falls.
Since that election, city leaders have annexed miles of property in areas, including south of RR 2147 East; west and east of U.S. 281 south of Max Starcke Dam Road; U.S. 281 south to the Texas 71 intersection; and north on U.S. 281 along the east side of the roadway where Save the World Brewery is under construction.
“We’re concerned about them moving forward with their plans,” EDC Board President John Packer said. “It’s really brought to light that there’s a lot of prime property along the 281 corridor that’s been annexed since 1988, (but) if a TGI Fridays wanted to open up and move into one of those areas, they would not because they could not serve alcohol.”
Welcoming new businesses that sell and serve alcohol raises the question of roadway safety.
“Anytime you have a new business which opens up that serves alcohol, there’s always a concern when it comes to drinking and driving,” said Marble Falls Police Lt. Steve Eckstein. “If they follow TABC regulations and state law, there shouldn’t be an issue.”
Petitioners must obtain signatures from 35 percent of registered Marble Falls voters who participated in the last gubernatorial election to be eligible for the May ballot.
That’s about 400 signatures.
“There are a lot of people who look at Marble Falls on a regular basis. They’re limited where they can go,” Packer said. “We’re trying to head off a surprise when some nice chain wants to open here, and they find out they can’t, and they go to Lakeway.”
A petition signing party is scheduled for Dec. 30 at Double Horn Brewery, 208 Ave. H.