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CITY HALL FINDS 1978 RULE DID NOT EXTEND TO 2 A.M.
Pearsall city councilors voted on Monday this week to revise a 1978 ordinance that will now allow alcohol sales past midnight.
According to City Manager Federico Reyes, the 45-year-old city ordinance only allowed the sale of mixed beverages between 7 a.m. and midnight on any day except Sunday.
“There is an applicant who is requesting to sell after hours,” the city manager said during the January 23 meeting. “What they are asking for in a nutshell is they are selling alcohol until 2 a.m. It has been an oversight for several years.”
Reyes said the oversight dealt with the process of how businesses obtain their liquor sales licenses. Those seeking a license to sell alcohol go through a process that includes the city administration signing approval of a local application, which is sent to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) for approval.
“We were under the assumption that TABC told us how long we could sell alcohol for,” Reyes said.
Bobby Maldonado, legal counsel for the city, said the ordinance was amended to show extended hours for consistency with TABC rules.
“What we did was we added a section to the ordinance pursuant to Section 29 of the Texas alcohol beverage code, so if the code changes this year you do not have to do anything,” Maldonado said. “We wanted to find something that said until 2 a.m. because businesses are open until 2 a.m.”
A unanimous decision by councilors present at the meeting was made to amend the ordinance, allowing the sale of alcohol until 2 a.m.
“So this ordinance was passed in the 1970’s and we allowed for businesses to sell if they had the proper license even though we didn’t have the authority to,” Leal said.
According to Reyes, the amended ordinance now gives the city the authority to authorize businesses to sell alcoholic beverages until 2 a.m.
“Basically the way things worked was backwards,” Reyes said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “It was just a matter of process.”
Reyes said the amendment will not affect any establishments that have existing permits.