Decision for liquor store displeases some neighbors


When is a neighborhood liquor store too convenient?

When it's too close to the neighborhood, say some Elkridge residents who must live with a Howard County Liquor Board decision last week to allow the opening of a liquor store off Meadowridge Road near Interstate 95.

The board voted 4-1 to give a license to Meadowridge Wine & Spirits over the objections of about two dozen neighborhood residents who showed up to oppose the liquor license at a Sept. 12 hearing.

"Legally, we didn't have anything on our side," conceded Norman Zundel, one of the opponents, who lives nearby off Mayfield Avenue. "Essentially, it was an emotional issue."

He and some other nearby residents did not want a liquor store so close to their homes and their children. Some of them live in a new development behind the store, which will sit in a strip mall along Meadowridge Road.

Mr. Zundel said the liquor store might be too much of temptation for neighborhood children -- or those with 21-year-old friends who can purchase alcohol for them.

"It's just too convenient being right there in the neighborhood," he said.

Albert Robertson, who applied for the license, said his store will not sell to minors. He also will not sell individual cans of beer displayed in barrels of ice, as is the case at some liquor stores. "It will be a high-scale, upscale liquor store," Mr. Robertson told the Liquor Board in September.

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