Shreveport liquor store laws brought into question

The Shreveport Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission is assessing the city's current liquor...
The Shreveport Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission is assessing the city's current liquor laws.(Pexels)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 3:31 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - According to the Shreveport Caddo Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), Shreveport is home to 55 liquor stores.

For the past six months, the MPC has been researching liquor store trends and laws within Shreveport. MPC Executive Director Alan Clarke describes the laws as “outdated.”

Alcohol sales have changed from only being allowed in “liquor districts” to now only being allowed on a case-by-case basis, according to the MPC.

Clarke says many people take issue when new liquor stores come to town, especially when they’re in predominately Black or low-income areas. He says part of that comes from segregation. Now that we’re in a “new generation,” he says it’s time to update the laws.

The MPC plans to propose laws stating no liquor stores can be located within 200 feet of a residential zoning district and another stating no liquor store can be within 1,000 feet from another liquor store. The laws are meant to prevent clustering of liquor stores and keep them away from people’s homes.

Several business owners have also taken issue with a current Shreveport law that requires hard liquor to be separate from other retail products. Shreveport City Councilman Grayson Boucher told KSLA several liquor stores were found to be in violation of this particular law.

Derrak Amidon owns Corks & Cuts with his wife Candace. He said they went through several weeks of city council meetings after becoming aware of the separation law.

“It’s very convoluted, a very gray area...After about 9 weeks of going to council meeting, they pretty much just said ‘ok, let them do it; they’re not hurting anything.’”

Bernie Woods owns two liquor stores in Shreveport. He says it took him four years and litigation in order to get his businesses up and running.

“No, they need to go by the laws that are on the books,” he said.

Woods says he believes he was treated unfairly, and therefore, the standards should apply to everyone.

“To change the law now because there’s so many people in violation, that’s not the answer. What are you going to do by me to make me whole?” he said.

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