In a week and a half, we’ll be voting on beer and wine sales in Tyler and J.P. Precinct 2.
And the city has begun looking at new zoning restrictions for businesses that sell alcohol.
But how much can they restrict anyone’s advertising?
The Tyler city Council has a committee that has been looking into any changes that might be necessary if beer and wine sales are approved by the voters.
And committee chair Councilman Mark Whatley is concerned about the atmosphere of the city.
And the state has restrictions in place for the establishments themselves.
“I would say that once the election goes wet, if it goes wet,” says TABC officer Sgt. Marcus Stokke, “if they get the proper permits and stuff, that they would be the same as any other business that was lawfully operating in the city.”
So, when the city does decide on new ordinances, they must apply to everyone, not just one kind of business. If it applies to a beer and wine store, it must apply to a car dealer or a TV station as well.
But when it comes to advertising, the Supreme Court has ruled on the subject already, and too many cities overreach in local sign ordinances. But commercial speech is protected by the First Amendment.
Mark Whatley says, that will not be an issue. “You know, from that standpoint, yeah, they’ll be like any other retail business. We welcome businesses in town. We’re very business friendly. This is just something that’s going to be new to everybody.”