Board reserves judgment on liquor license request

November 08, 1995|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Residents and officials continue to battle over scarce liquor licenses in central Baltimore County, with the latest confrontation involving a small, rural restaurant near Loch Raven Reservoir.

More than 125 people turned out for a seven-hour hearing Monday night, as the owner of Sanders' Corner sought to transfer a license to his Cromwell Bridge Road restaurant. But the county's three-member liquor board reserved judgment on the case.

Several county executives have worked to provide liquor licenses as a boon to economic development, but no new licenses are available in most of the county. Small tavern owners have fought proposals to create new licenses, fearing that they would be driven out of business by national chains.

And people like retired school principal Ron Sanders have been caught in the middle.

Sanders' Corner is a former country store converted to a restaurant seating up to 155 people. It's in rural Cromwell Valley, near several parks and the Loch Raven watershed, but close to Towson.

Monday night, people spilled out of the liquor board hearing room into the hallway for the latest chapter in Mr. Sanders' long fight to get permission to sell alcoholic beverages with his meals. will not sell package goods, he said.

To help make his case, he brought dozens of supporters, ranging from Towson lawyers and Cromwell Valley landowners to a bus load of 25 retirees from Glen Meadows Retirement Community. All said they like an occasional drink with their meals; some bring their own spirits now.

But opponents presented a strong case. Several groups of neighborhood residents and the pastor of the nearby Chinese Christian Church said they fear more traffic accidents on narrow, hilly Cromwell Bridge Road if Sanders' patrons are able to drink.

Earlier, the board approved the transfer of the long dormant Pizza Palace liquor license to Constance and Anoushirvan Shojae-Chaghorvand for use in their pizza parlor in the 100 block of York Road, just north of Towson State University.

The license was declared valid last month by the board, despite a state law that says licenses unused for 180 days are void.

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