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Liquor Store Application For Oakwood Ave Property Denied

The liquor store application from business owners Swati Deval and Saurin Patel has been denied by the City of Trenton Appeal Commission.

Deval and Patel wanted to build a liquor store on 80 Oakwood Ave., the former site of a doctor’s office. The property has remained empty for over 10 years. Deval and Patel already own Trenton Tobacco in the Ingles shopping plaza. Because their application was for a location in the Business-Residential district, it first had to go before the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission denied the application, in part because the Commission had received a letter from the management of Auburn Ridge Apartments, located at 145 Oakwood Ave., saying that they did not want a liquor store on that property.

The Appeal Commission met last month, consisting of members Chair Larry Case, Vice Chairman Steve Hendrix, and John Bradford. Both Deval and Patel spoke before the Commission. They both felt that they had been unfairly treated. After hearing Deval and Patel’s case, the Commission said that they wanted more time to make a decision.

“The people who were appealing the application said that they had contacted all the people, and they were big on the liquor store, and they wanted it. Well, I have lived here 73 years and I know a little of what people think. I knew better than that,” Case said.

Case noted that Deval and Patel had made a compelling case before the Commission, but Case said that he wanted to speak to more of the residents living around the property before denying or allowing the application to go forward.

“I went back over there personally. We contacted everyone in both Edgewood [subdivision] and Auburn Ridge Apartments. The people that I talked to, they [Deval and Patel] never said it was a liquor store, they just said it was a new business,” Case said.

According to Case, Deval, Petal, and others canvassed Oak Avenue after the Appeals Commission hearing in July, but all they had was a petition for being in favor of the liquor store.

“We had two different petitions, and the majority of the people that we talked to in Edgewood and Auburn Ridge were against it,” Case said.

“We are gravely unhappy with the decision of the appeal committee. We are considering our options including appealing the denial with our attorneys. We are not considering an alternate location at this time,” Patel said.

Two other applications for liquor stores have been approved by the Planning Commission, one to be built on McKaig Road, and the other in the former Larry’s Restaurant. The Planning Commission decided that the number of liquor stores in the city limits will not be limited.


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