Preparing for possible state action on the wine-in-grocery stores question, At-large Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard has filed a resolution that would bring the matter before Davidson County voters during the upcoming Aug. 5 election.
Among a handful of wine-in-grocery store bills under consideration by state lawmakers is legislation — Senate Bill 3577 and House Bill 2948 — that would let municipalities hold public referendums to decide whether to permit the sale of wine within grocery stores in their communities.
Tygard’s bill — entirely dependent on the fate of the pertinent state bills — would enable Davidson County voters to ratify or reject permitting the sale of wine in retail food stores at the next election.
“Should the state pass that, we need to be in a position to put that on the ballot,” Tygard said. “So this resolution is simply a charter amendment allowing the people to vote on wine-in-grocery stores, should the state legislature pass the enabling resolution.”
As outlined in the Metro Charter, liquor can only be sold in Davidson County’s urban services district. Its sale is prohibited in the general services district, areas on the county’s periphery that includes Joelton, Bellevue and Hermitage.
Accordingly, Tygard’s resolution would let Nashvillians vote whether to authorize liquor sales in grocery stores “regardless of whether the retail food store is located within the general services district or urban services district.”
“I’m not going as far as saying you can have liquor stores in the general services district,” Tygard said. “I’m not willing to fight that battle.”
Tygard’s resolution is set to go before the Metro Council Tuesday. It is expected to be tabled until state lawmakers decide the fate of the two bills.