Gas station is denied liquor license


The Howard County liquor board denied a license yesterday for a Columbia gas station to sell beer and wine.

In a 3-2 vote, the board -- composed of the County Council members -- refused to approve a beer and wine license for the Columbia Exxon service station on Little Patuxent Parkway near the Banneker fire station. Owner Lloyd M. Thacker of Ellicott City said he wanted to sell alcoholic beverages in the convenience store.

The service station would have been the first in Howard County to sell alcohol, a precedent council members said they did not want to set.

"It would make it too easy for kids to get alcohol," said Councilman Dennis R. Schrader, a Republican who represents North Laurel. "It could open the packaged goods business, which is pretty controlled now, to gas stations all over."

Thacker said the sale of alcohol needs to be more convenient.

"Their decision was discrimination against my industry," said Thacker, who has owned the gas station for 20 years. "The board is against entrepreneurs and the small businessman."

But several liquor store owners disagreed.

The Exxon station "is trying to take advantage of its proximity to the mall and Merriweather Post Pavilion, but I don't think the county or the state is ready for that kind of delivery at gas stations," said Eric D. Kaufman, who plans to reopen Ridings Liquors in Wilde Lake village next month. "For every convenience store to start selling beer and wine would be overindulgent."

Pub Date: 6/11/98

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