On February 9, 2015, Brian Kelly represented Mario Hizaj and Gentilly Food Mart at the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association meeting in an effort to obtain support for a license to sell beer at 1629 Gentilly Blvd.
The minutes from the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association meeting indicate that Mr. Kelly stated that the facility is 300’ from the playground (Mr. Kelly revised that number to 127 feet from the playground at the hearing). A copy of Sec. 10-237 of the City Code was provided at the meeting. Mr. Kelly further stated that there are variances allowing stores to sell beer. The variances include limiting the amount of liquor that can be sold, that package liquor can not be advertised outside of the business, and re-registration each year. Mr. Hizaj is proposing that 7% of his store will be dedicated to beer. Mr. Hizaj will provide a monthly donation to the park. The store has closed-circuit TV and he doesn’t allow loitering.
A motion was made by Sarah Stogner to oppose the request to sell any alcohol at Gentilly Food Mart. The motion passed.
On June 18, 2015, neighbors saw a notice on a utility pole on Maurepas Street about a hearing to be held where the City Planning Commission had recommended approval of zoning docket 52-15 which would allow the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption at 1629 Gentilly Blvd. Provisos were suggested.
On June 23, 2015, over 20 neighbors on both sides of Gentilly Blvd. attended the hearing. The neighbors were all against the sale of alcohol across from the playground due to the detrimental effects on the playground of the sale of alcohol from the Fair Zone convenience store before it closed. Increased crime, constant loitering, and drinking of alcohol by loud and unruly men in the playground were cited as reasons for opposition.
In the video below, you will see a diverse group of people all in opposition to the sale of alcohol across from Stallings playground.