Northeast Tarrant

Keller voters may decide whether to allow liquor stores

Keller could be the next Tarrant County city to welcome liquor stores if a petition drive is successful in putting the question on the November ballot.

A political action committee representing restaurants and bars has hired Texas Petition Strategies to launch a petition drive in the next few weeks. Voters would also be asked to approve mixed beverage sales because there is a piece of annexed land where mixed beverage sales aren’t allowed.

John Hatch, president of the Austin-based Petition Strategies of Texas, said an investor group wants to see liquor stores in Keller.

Signatures from 7,426 registered voters are needed to put the election on the ballot, Hatch said. Keller has a population of 47,266.

The Austin group said allowing liquor stores would create almost $11 million in annual sales and $230,000 in annual local sales tax revenue. The calculations were based on a 2008 report from economist Ray Perryman, who is president and CEO of an economic analysis firm in Waco.

Rachel Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the city, said the land that was annexed is adjacent to Keller Sports Park and that the only affected business is the indoor soccer complex Blue Sky Sports Center. Recently, Blue Sky Sports received a private club license, allowing it to serve mixed drinks.

Reynolds credited state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione with helping to get legislation passed in 2017 that closed gaps for Keller’s beer and wine retail sales, which helped pave the way for Sam’s Club to locate on the border of Keller and Fort Worth.

“Without that bill, Sam’s wouldn’t have been able to sell beer or wine on the property they wanted. That would have been a deal-breaker for that project,” Reynolds said in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In November 2016, voters in Roankoe approved the sale of all alcoholic drinks after legalizing package liquor in 2010. Voters in far north Fort Worth, Haltom City, Hurst, North Richland Hills, Richland Hills and Watauga also approved packaged liquor sales in 2016. Euless voters approved them in 2017.