The "liquor exemption zone" created by John Sharp's recent ordinance was put in place to allow the new Trader Joe's grocery to sell liquor at their store scheduled to open later this year at the Ward Parkway Shopping Center. What escaped the attention of most was that the same ordinance also created a second liquor examption zone around the site of the former Bannister Mall. While the Ward Parkway exemption zone includes only the shopping center, the Bannister Mall zone includes many neighboring areas totaling an area 26 times the size of the zone for Trader Joe's.
Some have wondered why Councilman Sharp made the second zone so large. It happens to extend to the east side of Blue Ridge Boulevard north of Bannister Road, including the gas station that he is so proud of bringing to an intersection already serviced by two other stations. So now with three gas stations at one intersection, one might also wonder if Sharp has ever heard of peak oil, supply and demand, or if he thinks we can go back to the 1960s.
Ten new jobs are supposed to be created by placing another gas station there, and that will allow Mr. Sharp to truthfully state that he has brought jobs to south KC.
The owner of the new station intends to sell liquor at that location, which they can do thanks to Sharp's ordinance passed just two months ago.
And while "synthetic cannabinoids" and "bath salts" are already showing up at gas station convenience stores in the area, the owner of the new Bannister gas station has been found selling crack pipes at their station in the Old Northeast section of KC.
A friend of mine was driving down Blue Ridge Boulevard and saw a Sharp-for-council sign in front of yet another liquor store, and started to wonder what's going on in this area that already has plenty of liquor stores.
She was reminded of the city council redistricting issue where Mr. Sharp was fighting to keep all of his voting base in the sixth district. Gwen Grant, President and CEO of the Urban League, roasted him on Channel 19's "Ruckus" saying that he was all in favor of helping Blacks drink in the Power and Light District, but didn't mind if they couldn't vote.
She might have found an emerging pattern there, and it could lead to harder stuff.