Monday night’s planning commission meeting raised questions concerning whether the location of a church and daycare facility near the proposed Central Landing development would hinder surrounding property owners’ ability to sell their land to restaurants seeking a private club license to serve alcohol.

Mary Robin Casteel, an attorney with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Administration, said distance requirements concerning churches and schools only apply to retail liquor stores or package stores.

"There are no set back requirements for any other liquor permits, including private clubs," she said. "If Faulkner County becomes wet, a retail liquor store may not be located within 1,000 feet of the nearest church and/or school."

A school is defined as kindergarten through baccalaureate degree, Casteel explained; daycares are not included in the definition of school.

Concerns were raised after Covenant Life Church requested a conditional use permit to allow religious activities and childcare services in a vacant warehouse facility near the proposed Central Landing redevelopment of Cantrell Field.

Casteel said in the opposite case, if a liquor store were already established, it would be the church’s choice to locate within 1,000 feet of the store.

"A church can come to a liquor store, but a liquor store cannot locate next to a church," she said.

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