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Jonesborough to approve two liquor stores on 11-E

With three applications submitted for liquor stores in Jonesborough and only two spots up for grabs, Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting will play a significant role in determining who will be approved to set up shop, and where.
Town leaders previously passed an ordinance to create two different zones where liquor stores would be allowed to operate in Jonesborough.
Since then, one application was received for the Overlay District 2, which is the zone sitting further west toward Greeneville on Highway 11-E.
Clint Douglas submitted an application for 1000 W. Jackson Blvd., a commercial center on 11-E whose other tenants include Eastman Credit Union and Lino’s Italian restaurant. The property is owned by Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe’s personal business, Wolfe Development.
Douglas said he intends to operate the store, initially called Jonesborough Wine and Spirits, as part of a partnership with his father and brother.
Town Administrator Bob Browning is recommending the Planning Commission approve the application and send it on to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for final approval.
In the Overlay District 1, two applications have been submitted, meaning the Planning Commission will have to decide which one to recommend to the BMA.
Don Price and Kelly Street both applied to open a liquor store in the area of 11-E and Headtown Road.
Price’s store would be located at 1537 E. Jackson Blvd., a commercial building, owned by Jeff Jones, that also houses Truck Toys. The store would be called 11E Wine and Spirits.
Price is a native of Jonesborough who currently works as a district sales manager for Hibbett Sporting Goods.
Street’s store would be located at 1601 E. Jackson Blvd., a blue metal building between Cradic Chiropractic and the Furniture Shop. The landlord for the property is William Glass. The store would be called Wine a Little.
Street currently owns and operates Five Points Grocery, a store that will likely have to be demolished in the next couple years as the state makes improvements to the intersection at which it is located.
Leaders of the nearby Trinity Baptist Church, 260 Headtown Road, wrote a letter opposing the opening of a liquor store at Street’s proposed location. Calling it an “ironic juxtaposition of a liquor store next to a church,” the letter states the store would not be beneficial to the church or the community.
In reviewing the applications and site plans, Town Administrator Bob Browning said the big difference in the two locations is the safety concerns related to getting in and out of the stores.
The fact that a customer can turn left directly from the eastbound lane into the entrance of Price’s proposed store makes it a more viable option, Browning said. He expressed concern about the need to make U-turns to get into the location proposed by Street.
Additionally, Price’s store would have significantly more parking spaces available, Browning said.
Browning and town staff are recommending the approval of Price’s application to serve as the second of the town’s first-ever retail liquor stores.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet March 15 at 7 p.m. to decide what they will recommend to the full BMA, which has the final say on which stores to approve.
Interestingly, the couple who got the issue of liquor stores in Jonesborough on the ballot for voters to approve in the first place will not be among the candidates being considered. Jim and Linda Carter spearheaded the movement to get a liquor store in Jonesborough, but were unable to secure a store location and withdrew their application.