Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Politics
  3. Policy & Issues

Houston City Council debates ordinance to alleviate "food deserts"

See also

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }

More Photos

On Wednesday, Jan 8, the first regular meeting of Houston City Council was brief, lasting less than one -half hour for the consent agenda and matters held, while still completing significant work on measures affecting future projects.

An ordinance amending Chapter 3 of the Code of Ordinances on Alcohol Free Zones was passed to redefine rules for grocery stores larger than 10,0000 square feet to allow for sales of beer and wine. The measure was largely drafted by Council Member Costello, and the amendment was jointly reviewed by Council members Costello and Green, both attorneys, with assistance from the City Attorney's office.

One of the problems creating “food deserts” (neighborhoods where the nearest grocery store is more than 1 mile away and a high proportion of residents live below the federal poverty level) has been that the law on Alcohol Free Zones near schools and churches made it difficult or impossible to operate a store offering beer and wine. Major grocery store chains rely on beer and wine sales to remain profitable. The amended ordinance will allow larger stores to sell beer and wine, but not permit consumption on or near the premises. According to Mr. Costello, several independent grocers have expressed interest in possible stores, and their owners are reviewing possible sites, weighing alternatives and incentives. (Items 23 and 23a)

In other matters the Council held a public hearing on the proposal to use approximately 6,986 square feet of Steubner-Airline Park for a sanitary sewer corridor. Officials from the Parks and Recreation Department reviewed the legal requirements for the use of public parks for this purpose. They explained why the plan satisfies the requirements. In addition the new sewer will allow for the installation of much needed restroom facilities in Steubner-Airline Park. (Item 1).

The Council also heard the regular financial reports from the Comptroller and Finance Director. The Comptroller's report covered the period of the fiscal year ending November 30, 2013. The Finance Director's report was based on 5 months of actual data and 7 months of projections. Neither report raised new concerns or substantial questions from the Counselors.

The Council appointed Ashley R. Threeton to the Houston Clean City Commission. (Item 2). It also appointed 5 members of the Board of Public Trusts with terms to expire Mach 22, 2014 Position 1 - Parvin Ahmadi McVey, Position 3 - Kim E. Jones, Position 5- Katherine M. Yzaguirre, Position 7- Brie Kelman, and Position 9 – Lillie J. Schecter.

Advertisement

News

  • Mt. Everest avalanche
    Disaster strikes Mt. Everest as at least 12 people were killed in an avalanche
    Video
    Watch Video
  • Most Earthlike planet discovered
    The Kepler telescope has discovered the most Earthlike, possibly habitable planet yet
    Space News
  • Easter crosses create debate
    Easter crosses spark a debate of separation of church and state in Ohio
    Headlines
  • Chelsea Clinton is preggers
    Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child
    Headlines
  • Stanley Cup playoffs
    The battle for Lord Stanley's Cup is on, don't miss a minute of playoff action
    Sports
  • Ukraine discussed amongst U.S., E.U., Russia
    The U.S., E.U. and Russia agree on ways to diffuse the tension in Ukraine
    Video
    Watch Video

Related Videos:

  • Former City Council Member Sue Lovell appointed to Houston Library Foundation
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518172393" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518172393&autoStart=true"></div>
  • Rosen Publishing donates 20,000 books to Houston Public Library
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2DAq6nAw-Ls?VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Bloomberg
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518197924" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518197924&autoStart=true"></div>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!