City Council denies alcohol variance for Truly
The Dripping Springs City Council denied an alcohol variance to “Truly Texas Grown Wine Cellars, PBC” (Truly), and tabled a related Conditional Use Permit request by the company, at its April 9 meeting. The vote against the variance was unanimous.
The enterprise applied for a variance allowing the sale of alcohol on property located slightly less than the required 300 ft. boundary from school property, as well as a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the proposed land use of the warehouse at 391 Sportsplex Dr.
Truly argued before City Council that it intended to use the facility to fulfill online alcohol orders only, and would not serve alcohol to walk-in customers.
At its previous presentation to Planning & Zoning on Mar. 26, Truly President Larry Epp argued similarly. Epp told P&Z commissioners that he believed Truly’s location (10.5 ft. short of the 300 ft. from the high school boundary) would not be significant as they would be operating merely as an on-line packing and shipping facility. He believed the city’s boundary ordinance outdated in consideration of modern day internet sales. He also sought to quell concerns about the distribution center adding heavy truck traffic to the street.
“This facility would be our Fulfillment Center, where on-line internet sales, packaging, and delivery of Texas vineyard wine will operate. We will not use 18-wheelers, only Bobtail pick-up trucks and FedEx . Most important, Truly will not sell or give wine to the public on the premises, for any reason,” Epp said.
At its meeting, Planning & Zoning voted to recommend denial of the variance to city council by a vote of four to one, and voted to recommend denial of the CUP to city council by a vote of three to two. (P&Z only recommends approval or denial to city council, and has no approval authority of itself.)
At the City Council Meeting, City Council Members Travis Crow and Taline Manassian, stated they saw the 300 foot ordinance as clearly defined, and viewed the online sales argument as inadequate.
In favor of the variance and CUP were Jon Thompson, a representative for the business, and the property owner Bob Wilson, who also owns and runs Dripping Springs Chocolate Company on the property site.