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Elkridge residents say no to proposed liquor store


As one small child slept, another quietly played and a third sucked on a baby bottle, 29 Elkridge residents told the Howard County Liquor Board last night they didn't want a liquor store in their neighborhood.

"We all bought our homes to raise families, not for the convenience of a liquor store," said Lisa Novotny, who lives in a neighborhood off Route 103 just west of Interstate 95. The proposed liquor store would be about 100 yards from the neighborhood.

After about an hour of testimony, the board still had not decided the fate of the proposed liquor store.

Board member Darrel E. Drown said he didn't expect a decision until the next scheduled meeting on Oct. 10.

Albert Robinson, who hopes to open Meadowridge Wine and Spirits Shop in a small shopping center on Huntshire Drive, stated his case to the board.

"This will be a high-class, upscale liquor store with products you can enjoy," Mr. Robinson said, turning to his opponents in a large hearing room at the county government complex in Ellicott City.

Mr. Robinson, dressed neatly in a suit, said he is married, has two children and seldom drinks.

He said he had canvassed 22 homes in the area and 10 people told him they had no problems with a liquor store.

He told the residents he had an excellent track record running a convenience store and gourmet food store.

But the residents weren't pleased with the proximity of the store to some houses. And many residents would have to drive by the store to get to their houses.

The shopping center also includes a medical clinic, a cleaners and a flower shop.

In other action, the board heard from the owner of an Ellicott City barbecue restaurant who wants to expand his business, the Johnny Star Rib Co. But Al Courtney, who owns a lawn mower shop below the restaurant, said a porch extending from the restaurant might prevent him from testing motors outside his store because the lawn mowers would disturb diners.

The liquor board also planned to decide the case at a later date.

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