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Business seeking liquor license next to church

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 19:32:43-05

Local organizations are up in arms about a business trying to get a liquor license right next to a church.

The Tobacco Hut on 62nd & Ames Ave. will have a license hearing with the NE Liquor Control Commission next week.  The LCC denied a license in 2014.

There were concerns since the business is within 150 feet of a church, and they've had at least 7 robberies in the last 2 years.

Churches and the neighborhood association have opposed alcohol sales because it would bring unwanted issues to the area and can be harmful to the worshipers.

"He just wants to have a business and make money and we understand that.  Well we want to have peace and quiet and safety, so if he wants to get his liquor license than he needs to make sure all those bad guys are not directed at our neighborhood," said Pamela Duncan, the President of the Benson-Ames Neighborhood Association.

In 2014 the Omaha City Council recommended denial of the liquor license, which the LCC agreed.  In November 2016 the council had a 3-3 vote so there is no recommendation.

Councilman Ben Gray, who represents the area, says if they've been robbed 7 times without liquor he can't imagine what it will be like with approval.  He adds the area is already saturated with places that sell alcohol, and doesn't want to change the law to allow it next to a church.

The attorney for the Tobacco Hut did not return a phone call on Thursday.