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TOLEDO, Ohio -- The Toledo Plan Commission has asked the City Council to institute a moratorium on the approval for convenience store permits to sell alcohol and cigarettes, in an effort to reduce illegal activities in the neighborhoods they serve, reported Toledo Blade.
The six-month ban on new permits comes from complaints from residents in the community that such stores are a social nuisance and promote alcoholism, drug abuse, and various crimes including prostitution.
During the six-month period, the city would study the issues surrounding convenience stores and the ban's implications on the city, the newspaper stated.
One store's future is up in the air because of the proposed ban. Due to an error by the city planning committee in 2004, the Spot Mini Mart was allowed to sell liquor without a special-use permit. The owners of the store might be forced to close their $250,000 investment because both the Plan Commission and City Council has since denied its application for the special-use permit.
Najah Jarouche's husband owns a Dairy Mart in the area; she told the newspaper that a ban against new permits for convenience stores selling alcohol and cigarettes doesn't make sense.
"We're not forcing them to buy this stuff," she told the paper. "If there's no convenience store, then they'll go to the grocery store."
According to the Toledo Blade, the area lacks grocery stores. The closure of such stores like the Mini Mart and the prevention of new ones from opening would make life more difficult for residents in the area.