ALBANY, Ga. — Five Albany nightspots will have hearings scheduled in January to determine if they will lose their alcohol licenses.
The Albany City Commission voted at its business meeting Tuesday night to schedule hearings to determine whether the alcohol licenses of the Sand Trap Lounge, Charley B’s, Big Daddy’s Lounge, Club Xcape and Legends should be denied or suspended. The Albany Police Department recommended that the licenses of the five establishments be denied as the commission considered blanket license renewals for 2013.
The commission also voted to deny EIG Albany Square’s rezoning application at 2707 Dawson Road to build a dental office in the parking lot opposite the Chik-fil-A restaurant. Albany Partners, whose tenants include the Publix supermarket and five other smaller businesses, opposed the application because they said it would limit visibility of their properties, would present safety/traffic hazards and would be a detriment both to their tenants and to the city.
“I have included for the record a letter from Publix officials objecting to the application,” Joe Dent, an attorney with the Watson Spence firm of Albany, which represented Albany Partners at a public hearing to discuss the issue, said. “They indicate granting the rezoning application would negatively affect their decision to renew their lease, which is due in August of 2013.
“If Publix leaves, it will impact my clients’ ability to make money and negatively impact tax revenue.”
The commission voted unanimously to deny the application, though the Planning Commission had voted 7-0 to approve it.
“We’re trying to continue the growth pattern in the city, and we have a group already at that location who is satisfied to be there,” Commissioner Tommie Postell said. “I don’t see how we could vote to let another group come in that’s going to make them uncomfortable.”
The commission voted to table a request for $860,000 in special-purpose local-option sales tax funds sought by Albany Technical College to build a pedestrian bridge across Slappey Boulevard over the strong objection of Postell. Postell had offered a motion to accept the request, and it was seconded before Commissioner Bob Langstaff offered a motion to table.
City Attorney Nathan Davis said that, under Robert’s Rules of Order, the motion to table should be considered first, and Postell responded, “He can’t table my motion.”
When Mayor Dorothy Hubbard ruled that the motion to table would be voted upon first, and it was approved by the commission, Postell said, “Let the record show that I strongly oppose you tabling my motion.”
Langstaff also asked that a motion to grant $100,000 to the Thronateeska Heritage Foundation’s new archives facility be tabled for further study, but his motion was denied and the funding was granted.
“They asked for $2 million to build the facility, and their bid came in at $1.2 million,” Langstaff said. “They’re going to use the other money for furniture and other supplies. I think if they can’t complete the project with the money approved, they should hold a fundraiser.
“It’s like the $3 million we granted to the SOWEGA Council on Aging for their senior center. They knew that wasn’t enough money, but they raised the other $3 million needed. I think we need to determine if more money is really needed before we grant it.”