State overrules Dayton’s objections to Family Dollar alcohol sales

The Family Dollar at 1125 Wayne Ave. has requested a liquor license from the state. The city of Dayton objected to the issuance of a license, but the state overruled the objection. The state liquor control commission ruled against the city. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
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The Family Dollar at 1125 Wayne Ave. has requested a liquor license from the state. The city of Dayton objected to the issuance of a license, but the state overruled the objection. The state liquor control commission ruled against the city. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The state has overruled five of the six objections the city of Dayton filed against new liquor permit requests from local Family Dollar stores.

The city appealed three of the decisions but already has lost one appeal before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission.

Some local neighborhood leaders said they are disappointed by the state’s decisions because they have real and legitimate concerns about how these businesses operate and the impact of adding more alcohol sales to their neighborhoods.

The Family Dollar on Troy Street in Old North Dayton has not been a responsible neighbor because it has not taken care of its property, said Matt Tepper, president of the Old North Dayton Neighborhood Association.

MORE: Dayton expected to object to Family Dollar alcohol sales

A Family Dollar spokesperson said the company wants to provide its customers with a convenient option to purchase alcohol while shopping for their everyday needs.

In November 2017, the Dayton City Commission approved six informal resolutions objecting to the issuance of liquor permits for Family Dollar stores at 1130 N. Main St., 645 Troy St., 1028 N. Gettysburg Ave., 1125 Wayne Ave., 440 N. James H. McGee Blvd. and 2601 E. Third St.

The resolutions stated that City Attorney Barbara Doseck reviewed information from police about the permit requests and found evidence of “substantial legal grounds” to deny the permits.

The city requested hearings before the Ohio Division of Liquor Control to provide justification for opposing the permits.

The Division of Liquor Control eventually sustained the city’s objection to the liquor permit proposed for the Family Dollar at 2601 E. Third St. The state denied the permit last week, according to state records.

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But the division overruled the city’s objections in the other five cases.

The evidence presented by the city did not meet the burden of proof under the law, according to an Ohio Department of Commerce spokesperson.

The division can deny a permit is evidence is presented about applicants’ criminal convictions, disregard of laws or regulations or disruption to the neighborhoods.

The city appealed the Division of Liquor Control’s decisions about the North Main Street, Troy Street and Wayne Avenue stores. The Ohio Liquor Control Commission has already affirmed the division’s decision in the Wayne Avenue case.

All the stores applied for C-1 and C-2 permits for carryout beer and wine.

The city files objections when it has legitimate reasons and concerns, which usually are based on information from police and community feedback, said Martin Gehres, city of Dayton assistant attorney.

MORE: Ohio liquor permit objections decrease

For instance, the Family Dollar on East Third Street is in a corridor that is “saturated with liquor establishments” and the area struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, Gehres said.

Neighbors also have complained that Family Dollar stores aren’t doing a good job of keeping their properties clean and maintained, Gehres said.

The Family Dollar in Old North Dayton has poor maintenance and does not take care of its property even though residents and community members have raised these concerns, Tepper said.

“A good business would listen to concerns neighbors have and try to accommodate them,” he said. “In this day and age, businesses have to be more community conscious.”