Des Moines Fights QuikTrip’s Liquor License Request

 Amid fears of increased crime and drunkenness, city officials look to convince QuikTrip to withdraw its request to sell hard alcohol.

City leaders in Des Moines, Iowa are scheduled to meet with QuikTrip Wednesday to request that the c-store chain refrains from selling hard alcohol at its Ingersoll Avenue store, for which QuikTrip has submitted a license application, the Des Moines Register Online reported.

If QuikTrip officials refuse the request to end their license application, the City Council may consider suing the board that permitted the store’s application.

Meanwhile, city officials are working with a state senator from Des Moines to create an amendment that would prohibit gas stations in Iowa’s largest cities from acquiring liquor licenses, in an effort to curb crime and drunkenness.

QuikTrip at 1421 Ingersoll Ave. sought approval of the liquor license at last week’s council meeting. The site received a conditional use permit to sell alcohol from the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, a panel that grants exceptions to city zoning rules. Challenging the board’s decision would mean a fight in district court, something city officials hope to avoid, but may possibly consider.

“If QuikTrip does not respond to our request, then it will be on the council agenda on the 27th for us to take a vote to join in on the lawsuit on the appeal of the board of adjustment’s decision,” Council Member Christine Hensley told the Des Moines Register Online.

In addition to appealing to QuikTrip to withdraw its store’s liquor application, officials also plan to ask the chain’s leaders for their assistance in creating the proposed amendment.

If QuikTrip and the city can’t reach an agreement, Ryan Howell, the Sherman Hill Association president, said a resulting lawsuit could be backed by the city, his neighborhood group and opposing businesses near the store. “We’re very hopeful that QT will hear our concerns, but if not, we’re going to still look at the options of pursuing it,” he said.

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