Corbett Howard: Why do we need another “Damp” election?

Why do we need another “Damp” election?

On May 11, 2004 the citizens of Celina voted by a slim margin for “the legal sale of beer and wine for off premise consumption only” and by a little larger margin, but close vote for “the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only.”
The primary goal of that election was to secure the Brookshires grocery store and that goal was achieved, and today we enjoy a great hometown store. The sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption is about retail sale of beer and wine whether that is sold by a Grocery chain, Mass Merchandisers like Target or Convenience Stores.

Let’s fast forward to November 2009, and the adoption of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan “Celina by Choice” by the City Council. The future land use map in the plan exposed the shortcoming of 90 to 95 percent of future retail; commercial development for Celina that is outside of the wet/dry option corporate boundary voted on in 2004.

Why are we holding a new wet/dry (Damp) election? There are several economic development and competitive reasons to address, but the simplest reason is the present wet/dry map shows a retail opportunity for only about 1,000 acres of area in Celina, and the Celina corporate limits have grown an approximate additional 10,000 acres since 2004. These additional acres give Celina strategic locations on the Preston Road and Dallas North Tollway corridors as well as annexed areas on the Collin County Outer loop and on the final DNT route.

The economic development reasons for updating our option area are the tax base expansion for the City of Celina and the CISD. Tax base expansion allows increased services for both entities without adding increased property taxes. Retail development adds sales tax revenue that directly funds our parks and open spaces and creates incentive for commercial and employment centers.

The competitive reason for the updated election is to have our boundary with Prosper and Denton County competitive. Both of these entities are 100 percent optioned for wet/dry, and this creates a real economic disadvantage to us.

The last answer is to the question what does “Damp” election mean? It is the positive connotation to a wet/dry election. In Celina, we won’t ever tolerate the existence of liquor stores or beer barns, nor should we. We understand development of solid retail and commercial ventures and that is what this election is all about.
Thank you

Corbett Howard
Executive Director
Celina Economic Development Corporation

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