Neighbors in Jacksonville's Arlington neighborhood fighting proposed liquor store

6:49 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "Not in my neighborhood."

Some Arlington residents are fighting a proposed establishment they believe has no place near their homes. Neighbors are so fired up about this they launched their own peaceful protest in opposition to possible changes. Arlington is home for Carol Marcovsky. It's been that way for 18 years.

"Arlington is a wonderful neighborhood," Marcovsky said. "We have great families, schools, churches."

Representing her neighbors, Marcovsky said she is not happy with what could possibly be coming to the old Arthur Murray Dance Studio on Merrill Road.

"Possibly a liquor store, full liquor store, package store and a pain management clinic," she explained.

City Council member Lori Boyer said the city's Land Use Zoning committee, which she chairs, is preparing to hear an appeal to the grant of a liquor exception for the property.

However she had no details or opinion, because the party presentations haven't been heard, nor the appeal binder received with the Planning Commission transcript.

Marcovsky and her neighbors protested the possibility Wednesday.

"We were shocked," Marcovsky said. "We were very surprised. We don't think that a liquor store would be something that be beneficial to the Arlington area."

Marcovsky said neighbors, including herself, are opposed.

"We're not sure what element of people would be coming around here to purchase the liquor," she said.

Boyer said she's been told about the pharmacy use by neighbors and if that's accurate, she said it raises some interesting questions that she looks forward to getting into at the hearing.

Boyer believes the appeal involves only the liquor exception and other commercial uses are already permissible. She said the question would be how those uses impact the criteria for the exceptions' approval or disapproval.

First For You: If there is or possibly could be a business opening up in your neighborhood that you object to, a city spokesperson tells FCN you have options. If it's a rezoning or land use change, you should contact the council member in that particular district or call the planning department to get the schedule of public hearing where you can voice your opinion.

FCN is told letters do go out to neighbors in the area who are directly affected by a proposed change.

The LUZ Committee's next meeting is Tuesday at 5 p.m. at City Hall in downtown Jacksonville.

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