Over the objections of the owners of a multi-story hotel next door, a North Charleston gas station won a zoning change Thursday that will allow for liquor sales on the property.
The Gas N Go at Rivers and Aviation avenues already sells convenience-store items including beer, wine and smoking supplies and accessories, but the owners also wanted a liquor store with a separate entrance on the property.
At a previous hearing, John O’Connor, vice president for operations at the Radisson Hotel next to the gas station, said the hotel had to call police dozens of times last year because people who bought alcoholic beverages at the gas station were drinking in the hotel’s parking area.
O’Connor said allowing liquor sales would surely make the problem worse, and had urged the city to deny the zoning change, noting that the hotel is in the midst of a multi-million-dollar renovation and pays lots of taxes.
Both properties are in Councilwoman Dorothy Williams’ district, and she supported the gas station’s request, suggesting that the hotel owners were afraid their guests would go next door instead of buying high-priced hotel bar drinks.
“Staying in hotels, as I do, I know a beer costs $10,” she said at the earlier hearing.
Council members often defer to colleagues who take a position on matters in their district, and the rezoning was approved on a 9-1 vote.
Councilman Bobby Jameson cast the only vote against the change, which the city’s Planning Commission had earlier recommended that City Council deny.
“Why do we need a third ABC store (in the area) when it’s going to negatively affect the hotel?” he said.
In other business Thursday, the council agreed to begin studying parking needs around the coliseum by looking for consultants that could evaluate the prospects for a parking garage.
Also approved was a $743,463 increase in the cost of renovations to the Danny Jones Pool complex.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.