I have been reading a lot of misinformation about the HEB-driven petition to allow off- premise sales in the dry section of the Heights. While there is still only speculation about the location, there are some actual facts. Here are the facts as I know them:
- The petition is backed by HEB, who hired a law firm to handle the drive. Some of the canvassers, who are paid and may or may not be your neighbors or Heights residents, may not know about HEB, only the firm that hired them. Either way, it's all about HEB.
- The petition itself does NOT actually change anything about the existing law. The petition puts the issue on the ballot to be voted on in November.
- You can only sign the petition and participate in the subsequent vote if you live in the dry zone.
- The petition/future vote are for *off premise sales of beer and wine only.* This means you can buy beer or wine at the store and take it elsewhere. You will not be able to drink at the store.
- The petition and vote will NOT ALLOW hard liquor sales.
- Restaurants and bars will still have to get a club license to serve on-premise beer/wine/alcohol in their establishment.
- The HEB on Washington Ave at Heights is a done deal. The store that is at issue will be in the Heights proper, obviously within the dry zone.
- HEB will not build a store in the Heights if the off-premise beer and wine sales vote fails.
- This HEB, should it get built, will NOT be a Central Market. HEB will not be building any more Central Markets in the Houston area for the foreseeable future.
- The petition and subsequent vote are supported by both the Agricole and Treadsack restaurant groups.
Whether or not this is beneficial to the Heights is still largely a matter of opinion. There are two reasons residents of the dry zone may want to sign the petition:
1) Because they support the off-premise sales and want and HEB.
2) Because they believe it should go to a vote, whether they support it or not.
There may or may not be more information, but this is what I know to be fact at this point from a source at HEB. If you are a stake holder in this process, i.e. live in the dry zone, please help spread facts, regardless of whether you are for or against the change.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Personally, I like the off-premise limitation, because I whole heartedly support the dry zone, but see many benefits in this HEB. The HEB Washington location will actually be more convenient for me, but the (probable location) of the new store will serve a whole other area of the Heights, Shade Acres, Garden Oaks, Oak Forest, and Independence Heights.