The Lincoln City Council voted today to deny Sam’s Club a liquor license for its future store in southeast Lincoln to express its displeasure with Wal-Mart’s plans to build a new store in southwest Lincoln, despite vehement opposition in the neighborhood.
Councilman Jon Camp suggested the council vote no on the liquor license application to “send a message” to the retailing giant that city leaders would like them to listen to neighbors’ concerns about the Supercenter planned at 27th Street and Grainger Parkway.
His motion passed 5-2, with only Councilmen Gene Carroll and Adam Hornung voting against it. Council members Camp, Jonathan Cook, DiAnna Schimek, Doug Emery and Carl Eskridge voted to deny the license.
Carroll said it was unfair to hold the liquor license hostage when people have been anticipating the Sam’s Club store for a long time. It will be Lincoln’s second Sam’s. Carroll said a “no” vote would send a poor message.
Cook said the company has not been as sensitive to neighbors’ concerns as the council would like, and the council’s vote is only advisory – a state liquor board makes the final decision.
Hornung said the Sam’s Club liquor license has nothing to do with Wal-Mart’s unpopular plans for a new store on the other side of town. He said it was an obscure, underhanded way of expressing displeasure with Wal-Mart.
In June, hundreds of Lincoln residents turned out for a meeting with Wal-Mart representatives to express their unhappiness about the store, which they fear will bring too much traffic, noise and runoff to their neighborhood.
Reported by Deena Winter, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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