A group called the Houston Heights Beverage Coalition PAC is hoping to bring about a vote on allowing beer and wine sales in the technically dry section of the Houston Heights. The group published a notice on May 5th announcing an application to the city to start collecting the petition signatures required to get the measure on a local option ballot.
Here’s the text of the required public notice:
The Houston Heights Beverage Coalition Political Action Committee will submit an application to Anna Russell, City Secretary for the City of Houston in compliance with Section 501.023 of the Texas Election Code, in order to circulate petitions to the qualified voters of the area formerly known as the City of Houston Heights as it existed on February 19, 1918, now within the City of Houston, Harris County Texas, so that a local option election can be called on the following issue: For/Against “The legal sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only.” This public notice was paid for by Houston Heights Beverage Coalition Political Action Committee.
The group’s immediate goal isn’t to do away with all alcohol restrictions, and the proposed ballot measure wouldn’t get rid of the current private-club workaround frequently employed by area bars and restaurants. But the proposal would lift existing barriers for stores trying to sell beer and wine to be carried away elsewhere — an issue that forced the recently closed Fiesta Mart at N. Shepherd and 24th St. to install its traditionally-in-the-parking-lot Beverage Mart a full 4 blocks away on the corner with 28th St. (across the northern boundary of the zone).
After a 2009 incident in which the city and the local TABC office (itself located within the dry zone in the office midrise shown above) approved and then quickly backpedaled on a liquor license for 3202 White Oak Dr., the Houston Heights Association printed a map of the zone boundaries in a June 2009 newsletter. That publication also included a link to the 1937 Texas Supreme Court ruling that declared the city of Houston Heights’s pre-annexation alcohol rules still in effect until such time as they are voted away by residents of the zone.
- Public Notice (May 5, 2016) [Houston Chronicle via TX Headlines]
- June 2009 Newsletter [Houston Heights]
- Previously on Swamplot: The Fiesta on N. Shepherd Will Be Shut Down in 17 Days; Eureka Heights Brewing Will Dive Into the Craft Beer Flood at the Edge of the Heights’ Dry Zone; Comment of the Day: How To Work Around the Houston Heights Dry Zone; The City Runaround and a City Council Run: Where Does It Say That the Heights Is Dry?
Photo of TABC regional headquarters in the Heights Medical Tower at 427 W. 20th St.: LoopNet