Retail Package Liquor Store

alcohol page (1)

Thank you for choosing the City of Thomaston.  The City of Thomaston has adopted Ordinance No. 1167 permitting a Class O license authorizing the sale of liquor by the package within the corporate limits.  

The City of Thomaston will be issuing TWO Class O Distilled Spirit Alcohol Licenses for a Retail Liquor Package Store in accordance with Ordinance No. 1167.  Qualifying applicants will be selected to enter a lottery for licensure.  

Interested applicants can download the application linked below or pick up a hardcopy at:

City Hall
City Manager's Office
106 E. Lee Street
Thomaston, GA 30286

Applications will be made available:  
Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. - June 16, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to: 

  1. Thoroughly review Alcohol Ordinance No. 1167, AND Chapter 6 both linked below. 
  2. Follow the checklist provided within the application, 
  3. Attend any posted Townhall meetings for Q&A
  4. Visit this page often.  Read through the posted Q&A below.  

A sealed Class O Alcohol License Application (Package Store) 
AND a $2,000 non-refundable application fee payable to the City of Thomaston
will be accepted: 
(not before / not after)
June 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. - June 16, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

Following these three steps will assist the interested applicant in a seamless process AND help avoid application disqualification.  

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Message from the City Manager Paragraph Header

May 12, 2022:   

Regarding C2 properties / rezoning as applicable to the city's lottery for distilled spirits. 

"Applicants who wish to apply for Class O Package Store Licensure at properties currently not zoned C2 will be considered valid for the lottery if a complete and valid rezoning application has been submitted by the current property owner to request a property rezoning prior to the Class O Package Store application deadline.  

Please note that eligibility under the city's lottery process "for Class O License" is at administrative discretion and shall not constitute any zoning changes, "nor imply that a zoning change will be granted, as "that" determination is at "the" sole discretion of the City of Thomaston Mayor and City Council.  License shall not be issued for properties outside the C2 zone.  

Russell Thompson
City Manager   

____________________________________________________________________________

May 16, 2022

You are invited to attend the 2nd Townhall meeting to address questions related to the Class O Package Store application process.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 
12:00 PM NOON
City - County Meeting Room (1st Floor) 
Thomaston-Upson Government Complex
106 E. Lee St., Thomaston, GA 30286

Russell Thompson
City Manager
____________________________________________________________________________

Alcohol Q and A paragraph heading

1. Can I contact the City of Thomaston with questions? Can I meet with the City Manager or any City of Thomaston staff to go over my application prior to submission? 

"The City Manager nor City of Thomaston staff will meet privately to review or discuss the process with an applicant.  Applicants can submit questions to mwhite@cityofthomaston.com and answers will be posted here within 3 business days. Written questions will be received and answered until June 12, 2022. Applicants may contact the Building Official or Zoning Officer to ask specific zoning and building questions as it relates to a specific location." 

2. How will the lottery work and how will the applicant be identified in the lottery:

"The ordinance language authorizes that process to be determined by the City Manager.  At this time there has been no determination but shall be conveyed to the applicants prior to the drawing." 

3. Can we select a location for the package store in the downtown district?  

See message from the City Manager on this site dated May 12th for clarity on zoning.  

4. Can I have a lottery machine in the package store? "No."

5. Beer tasting and liquor tasting is prohibited.  Will wine tasting in the package store also be prohibited? 

"Yes; however, Council reserves the right to modify the ordinance as they see fit and beneficial to the public interest and welfare." 

6. Can we have an extension on the June 2-16 application deadline? 

"Mayor and City Council discussed and considered the request at the May 3, 2022 Council meeting.  No action was taken; therefore, the dates remain as posted."  

7. Will there be feedback with applicants during the 30 day review pe4riod if something is missing? 

"No feedback will provided during the review period.  The application should be complete when submitted.  Follow the list of supporting documents outlined in the checklist attached to the application."  

8. Can I sell my business shortly after opening? 

"At this time, yes; however, your ordinance that is currently in effect governs your license for one year and at the end of December 2022, that license expires and you will need to renew that license.  Whatever ordinance that is on record at the time of renewal, that ordinance will be the new law."

9. Does the council have an area that is not a desired location? 

"As long as it is within the C2 current zoning and in compliance with location distancing." 

10. Does it count if the church is "renting" a meeting location near the proposed property? 

"The applicant should note any churches that are within the distancing prohibition specified by the State law." 

11. If I win the lottery for a license, when will I have to have my Certificate of Occupancy?

"December 31, 2023" 

12. If I win the lottery, and say six months later I decide I want to choose a different location, can I do that?  "No."    

13. Is the City of Thomaston requiring a business plan with the application?

"No, but strongly suggested." 

14. What about parking requirements? 

"Parking requirements are denoted in Chapter 98 in the City of Thomaston Code of Ordinances."

15. Will the City of Thomaston only draw two from the lottery?

"No.  All applications that meet the minimum criteria will be drawn." 

16. When do I pay my license fee if I win the lottery drawing? 

"The two lottery winners will have 7 business days from the date of the drawing to pay local fees of $5,000.00 payable to the City of Thomaston."  

17. Can you clarify if the applicants on license 1 and license 2 can be family members? 

"Family is defined in City of Thomaston Code of Ordinance 1160." 

18. Will check cashing be allowed in the store? "No"

19. Will the agent or owner have to be a resident of Upson County or the City of Thomaston? 

"Per City of Thomaston Alcohol Ordinance, if the applicant lives further than 30 miles from the corporate city limits, an agent living within 30 miles of the corporate city limits must be identified."

20. Can the lottery winner transfer (sell) the license to someone before opening the store? "No"

21. Is there a minimum time that the license has to be held after the store opens before it can be transferred to a new ownership?   

"The store can be sold; however, your ordinance that is currently in effect governs your license for one year and at the end of December 2022, that license expires and you will the license holder will need to renew that license.  Whatever ordinance that is on record at the time of renewal, that ordinance will be the new law." 

The license cannot be sold or transferred at any time. The new owner of the package store will apply and be issued license in the new owner's name."  

22. How detailed do the renderings have to be? 

"Renderings should be to scale, but does not have to be full architecture plans stamped by an architect."