Request for liquor store in strip mall passed to Planning & Zoning


A request to start a liquor store in the Hahn Development strip mall (Gaylord Commons) on Gaylord’s Main Street has been passed on to the City’s Planning and Zoning Committee.

Bob Ankeny, of Blue Earth, was at last week’s City Council meeting. He told council members of plans to put an off-sale liquor store in the center portion of the strip-mall. It would occupy approximately 2,500 square feet, Ankeny explained.

A City of Gaylord ordinance requires 500 feet between any church or school and a liquor store establishment. Since St. Paul’s Church is nearby, City Administrator Kevin McCann said the ordinance would have to be changed to allow for a liquor store in the strip mall.

It was then determined by council members that Ankeny’s request should be heard by Planning and Zoning.

City Attorney Donald Lannoye agreed with the City Council. He told council members that a recent Supreme Court case makes it essentially impossible to allow a variance for the request. The City would have to amend its ordinance, Lannoye explained.

The ordinance regulating the distance between a church/school and a liquor store was adopted in 2009, according to McCann. Lannoye said it is not an uncommon ordinance for cities. He said the distance isn’t stipulated by statute but rather determined by each city.

Council members unanimously approved passing the request onto Planning and Zoning. Having Planning and Zoning hold a public hearing was part of the same motion.