Commissioners Withdraw Request For Liquor Permit Hearing

By
Steve Robb - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 8, 2014 2:18 pm

A request that the state hold a public hearing on the liquor permit applications of a business in The Plains has been withdrawn by the Athens County Commissioners.

As The Messenger previously reported, Sean Kiser raised concerns that having a hearing would delay his permit applications and cost his business, Kiser’s Barbeque at Eclipse, some revenue. He noted that voters had already approved liquor options that allowed him to apply to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control for the permits.

Last month, the commissioners decided to have their own comment period, which ended Monday, as a way to assess public attitudes about the permits before voting on whether to cancel the hearing request.

At their meeting Tuesday, the commissioners voted unanimously to withdraw the request for the public hearing.

Commissioner Lenny Eliason said the comments they received were overwhelmingly in support of the permits.

“I had multiple ones that said quit delaying things,” commented Commissioner Chris Chmiel.

Chmiel also received an email from a Lurhig Road woman who expressed concern about having a business selling alcoholic beverages at Kiser’s location, which is off Johnson Road — a roadway that serves Athens High School. She expressed concern about impaired drivers traveling through the school zone and also using the dangerous Johnson Road/Route 33 intersection.

Chmiel said the commissioners never considered the request for the hearing as an objection to the permit application but rather as a way of giving the public input into the process.

In the November election, voters in The Plains 1 Precinct, where Kiser’s Barbecue at Eclipse is located, approved by a vote of 140-58 the sale of beer, wine, mixed beverages and liquor. The other local option allows Sunday sales, between 11 a.m. and midnight, of wine, mixed beverages and liquor, and was approved 126-72.

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