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Proposed liquor store opposed

January 21, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County liquor officials will decide within 30 days whether to grant a liquor license to a proposed liquor store at 11205 John F. Kennedy Drive near Hagerstown Community College.

About 20 people attended a hearing Wednesday before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, known as the liquor board, to discuss the proposal.

Five Washington County liquor store owners told the liquor board that they opposed the new store, saying the city already had enough liquor stores. They reminded the liquor board that it recently turned down a similar request at the same address last year, setting a precedent that should be followed.

When the audience was polled to determine support for the plan, 11 people raised their hands.

Sassan Shaool of Washco Development owns the building in which the liquor store would open.

The 1,500 square-foot space wouldn't be big enough to compete with existing liquor stores, Shaool said. In addition, the store would be more of a boutique, selling upscale spirits and gifts.

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"This is not to be a large competitor to other stores," he said.

Shaool said that area would need another liquor store to accommodate increasing residential development.

Shaool invited a real estate agent and a traffic engineer to testify that the proposed location would suit a liquor store.

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