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Published on September 6th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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North Columbia residents organize against beer and wine licensing

A group of concerned North Columbia residents is organizing to resist the growing number of retail sites in the area licensed to sell beer and wine.

Concerned Citizens of Eau Claire/North Columbia (CCECNC) represents a concerted effort by residents to ensure a stable and secure environment for families, businesses, schools and visitors in communities surrounding the North Main commercial corridor.

CCECNC affirms that the growing trend in applications for beer and wine licenses in North Columbia has created concerns for citizens and neighborhoods in 29203. Vagrancy, devaluation in property, and the area’s struggle to attract “neighborhood friendly” businesses have elicited discussion among neighborhood groups, business interests and elected officials as to the effect these outlets have on the economic, security and general well-being of North Columbia and Eau Claire.

Spurred by a recent request for licensing a new convenience store at Monticello Road and Duke Avenue, an area already served by another establishment directly across the street and the nearby Bi-Lo grocery store, the group of 16 petitioners has successfully appealed to the SC Department of Revenue to temporarily halt the licensing. The petitioners have secured legal representation and have filed to intervene in the matter with the South Carolina Administrative Law Court, which will hear the case.

Spokesperson for the petitioners, Gareth Fenley, said the group expects to foster “greater participation in community issues through advocacy,” adding, “we are diverse, motivated and prepared to go the distance in support of our community.”

CCECNC seeks donations for legal costs of the case. The Eau Claire Community Council, a nonprofit organization serving the nearly 40 neighborhood groups in North Columbia, has set up a Legal Defense Fund to accept and distribute funds for legal expenses associated with the case. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

Access to online donations can be found on the group’s website at ccecnc.wordpress.com.

For more information, please contact Gareth Fenley at fenleyg@gmail.com or 803-479-1287.

 

 

 

 

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