Will a Hamilton Gun Store be Able to Sell Coffee or Food?
The Town Council of Hamilton, Virginia, is considering whether to allow a gun store to sell coffee, reported Loudoun Now. On October 15th, the Hamilton Council will vote on a six-month trial period for coffee sales at the gun store.
This decision arose after the Hamilton Council met for one hour on September 25th. During that meeting, the council members reviewed the potential impact of allowing the gun store to sell coffee in the town’s Retail Sales & Service Commercial District.
Back in 2016, the gun store owner purchased a 3,000-square-foot property. The property was formerly the site of a bank, which the new owner converted into a gun store and firearm training facility.
A local parent-teacher association objected to the store’s opening, due to the store’s proximity to a local elementary school. The parents and teachers felt that it was unlawful and unsafe to open a gun store within 1,000 feet of an elementary school.
Despite these objections, the gun store opened in 2016. However, zoning requirements prevented the owner from selling coffee or food. As the gun store was adjacent to residential properties, Hamilton zoning ordinances forbade food sales. Since the store’s opening, the owner has been pushing for the Hamilton Council to approve food sales.
Earlier this month, there was a public meeting to gauge the public reaction to the gun store selling coffee. Nine residents approved of the gun store selling coffee. Four residents disapproved. In terms of the disapprovals, a common issue centered on parking and foot traffic. As the gun store only has one parking space, some residents were concerned about customers crossing Colonial Highway without a crosswalk.
Based on public perception and other concerns, the Hamilton Council focused on logistical matters during the September 25th meeting. Specifically, the council members asked the gun store owner to explain how the business will handle parking overflow, hours of operation, delivery procedures and utility usage.
In response, the gun store owner argued that coffee and food sales would not have a negative impact on the town’s logistics. Precisely, the gun store owner offered the following information:
- Parking Overflow — The gun store owner obtained written permission to use the Hamilton Baptist Church parking lot for parking overflow;
- Hours of Operation — The gun store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Sunday, avoiding conflict with the church’s Wednesday night or Sunday services;
- Delivery Procedures — The gun store will coordinate all deliveries for the same day each week, utilizing the store parking space to avoid street congestion; and
- Utility Usage — The store will use water jugs to make coffee and frozen dough to make baked goods, avoiding negative impact on the town’s utilities.
At this point, the gun store owner must wait for the Hamilton Council to vote on October 15th. If the council members approve, there will be a six-month trial period for coffee and food sales at the gun store.
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