Group petitioning Prosper voters looks to change alcohol sales laws
A group comprised of more than a dozen Prosper-area residents and business owners is behind the circulation of petitions in recent weeks that call for a pair of local option elections in November.
According to a press release, they seek to balance restaurant alcohol sales rules throughout the town for improved consistency, as well as to legalize alcohol sales in ”fine wine package stores,” which it hopes may ultimately attract retail chains, such as Specs or Total Wine, to Prosper.
Approximately 3,500 voter signatures of residents who live within the town’s limits are needed by July 10 to require the Prosper Town Council to order an election in November.
Austin-based Texas Petition Strategies was hired to conduct the petition drive and election campaign.
The group behind the petitions “supports making one set of rules to regulate alcohol sales in the Prosper city limits in order to simplify regulations, increase economic growth and jobs and keep local revenue from going to surrounding communities,” according to the press release.
The press release also explained that the sale of alcohol in local restaurants was approved in 2006 by Prosper voters. Given the town’s growth during ensuing years, it said that areas that were not within its boundaries then remain “dry” today.
”Prosper has grown and we are losing so many new restaurants who will not build in a ‘dry’ area,“ said Teague Griffin, owner of Brown and Griffin Real Estate, who is listed among the members of the group behind the petitions. ”Changing this law will give us one set of rules for all restaurants and it will still not allow stand-alone bars or nightclubs.”
The press release also cites estimates that there are nearly 40,000 people who live in Prosper and surrounding cities and who shop in the town.
It is estimated that the current law allowing for beer and wine sales at grocery and convenience stores generates nearly $500,000 in local sales tax annually.
Meanwhile, it is suggested that Prosper could see upward of $9 million in additional annual spending, as well as an uptick in jobs and sales tax revenue if the town no longer held its dry status.
”With so many communities seeing a decrease in their sales tax due to the COVID virus, this would allow us to keep those tax dollars and jobs in Prosper,“ Shawn Clayton, owner of Superscapes Landscaping and Irrigation Services, is quoted as saying in the press release.
David Blom, identified as a member of the Prosper Developer’s Council, is one of the co-chairs of the group behind the petitions.
Pointing to studies of other Dallas-Fort Worth cities, Blom said that based on the town’s “population and limited site availability, Prosper could only sustain 2, maybe 3 package liquor stores.”
A representative from the Prosper Chamber of Commerce board of directors declined to comment about the petitions for this story.