East Ridge city council puts limits, requirements on liquor stores

Some argue the plan circumvents the free market

Staff File Photo by Angela Lewis Foster / Last November, 74% of East Ridge voters elected to allow liquor stores, similar to downtown Chattanooga's Jax's Liquors shown in this file photo, to open in the city for the first time in 100 years. On Jan. 28, the East Ridge City Council voted 3-2 to put limitations and requirements on the new stores.

In November, 74% of East Ridge voters elected to allow liquor stores to open in the city for the first time in its 100-year history.

On Jan. 28, the East Ridge City Council voted 3-2 to put limitations and requirements on the new stores, and now some question whether the council's desires match those of voters and whether the council is "meddling" in the marketplace.

According to the new ordinance, which goes into effect in March, two new stores will be allowed in the city - one on the west end of Ringgold Road between the Bachman Tunnel and Belvoir Avenue and the other between South Moore and Spring Creek roads.

The one on the west end must be a minimum of 4,500-square-feet of retail space and the eastern-most store must have a minimum of 7,000-square-feet of retail space.