OAKWOOD — The Oakwood City Council voted 4-1 Monday night to deny an application for a package store on Atlanta Highway near Cresthill townhomes and apartments.
The vote came after lengthy discussion by council members and comments from opposing and supporting audience members.
Sam Evans was the only councilman voting to allow the business, which would have been known as Tipsy Package, to have a liquor license.
"I don’t wish any ill will. I’m a Christian too and I understand both sides," he said. "But the point that I made was. I don’t want to deny business to Mr. Cohron. I wish the best of luck to everybody."
Terry Cohron, the property owner, asked council to approve the application on behalf of the Barrow County-based business.
Referring to comments by opponents that they would support a sandwich shop or some other family-friendly business, he said, "We haven’t had anybody to ask us to do that."
"And once we found out this gentleman wanted to go in there, we conformed our building to fit what his needs were."
Cohron added, "In the economy we’re in, you’ve got a tenant whose willing to pay rent and create jobs and taxes. That’s the road we had to go through."
Several people were vocal in their opposition, including the owner of the adjacent Cresthill community, Bernie McClure.
"With 63 children in my neighborhood and under the age of 18, and riding their bikes and playing at the pool, this is a recipe for disaster," he said.
McClure also said he was afraid tenants would move from the neighborhood and his complex would have trouble attracting new tenants.
Stephanie Marcum, a Crestview resident who brought her two children to the meeting, told the council that she believed the liquor store would "destroy our piece of mind, destroy our community and destroy our way of life."
Marcum, holding 1-year-old Spencer in her arms, asked the council to "stand with us because we are your community."
Jason Nave, a pastor at nearby Blackshear Place Baptist Church, also spoke to the council, handing members a stack of nearly 1,000 petitions from church members opposing the liquor store. He also read a statement from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a member of the church, voicing his opposition.
After the vote, Marcum, standing outside City Hall with other opponents, said she was pleased by the outcome.
"I came here to protect my children and I’m glad City Council helped me protect my children," she said.
Cohron declined to comment.