Alcohol permit issued for business next to churches - CBS46 News

Alcohol permit issued for business next to churches

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

You don’t have to look far to find what's bothering Charles McCorkle these days. He owns the GB Event Facility off Wesley Chapel Road and said the Lemon Drop Restaurant and Lounge next door started serving alcohol a couple of weeks ago within a few yards of multiple churches operating at his facility. 

“The individual was well aware of the churches and he attempted to manipulate the system by having surveyors come out that he felt he could pay and they would document that there were no churches or anything and he has done that on numerous occasions,” McCorkle said.

McCorkle said county code indicates that an alcohol permit cannot be issued to a business within 200 yards of a church.

“I didn’t set those rules and regulations. They were set up and in place for years, long before I even established my facility here,” McCorkle said.

CBS46 obtained an email sent to McCorkle from DeKalb County which says although staff was instructed not to issue the alcohol license for Lemon Drop by the zoning administrator, the license was issued on Friday, December 23, 2016.

“I’m a full service restaurant, I’m not a late night establishment. If I was a late night establishment they would probably have some concerns, but since I’m a full service restaurant, I’m fine,” Lemon Drop Owner Myrio Lemons said.

CBS46 contacted DeKalb County and spokesperson Andrew Cauthen said the Zoning Board of Appeals decided to allow Lemon Drop to have an alcohol permit because they are a restaurant in the I-20 overlay district, which is a special zoning area designed to attract businesses.

McCorkle and other pastors in the area disagree and plan to challenge the issue further with CEO Michael Thurmond and his administration.

“Michael Thurmond needs to take a close look at Planning and Sustainability,” McCorkle said.

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