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Extreme Motorcycles gets OK to sell beer

By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
Extreme Motorcycles, a dealership at 610 W. Ritchie Road next to Interstate 85, will be allowed to sell beer.
Salisbury City Council granted a special-use permit to the company Tuesday.
Owner Dirk Newsome said he wanted to be able to sell beer on his premises as part of “event-type marketing” on Thursdays through Saturday.
Newsome said he doesn’t mean to set up a nightclub. Rather, he wants to be able to offer refreshment to his visitors. He added it would be “a real simple deal,”‘ involving a countertop and some cans of beer in a cooler.
The motorcycle dealership’s hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
The Planning Board had voted 10-0 previously in favor of a special-use permit for the business.
Some council members expressed reservations before the final approving vote.
Councilman Mark Lewis said he likes beer and motorcycles “but something doesn’t seem right” about the request. He said he was worried about the co-existence of a “bar” with a vehicle dealership.
But he also noted that Salisbury could have an event or establishment downtown that sells beer, and people have to drive to and from that location, too.
A motorcycle dealership is different than a car dealership, Newsome said. Often, with motorcycles, people are returning to the store regularly, hanging out and being part of a different culture, he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson said he would be concerned about a customer’s drinking four or five beers, driving away from the dealership and being involved in a fatal wreck on the interstate.
“The truth is,” Lewis said, “we run that risk with any place” that sells alcohol.
“That risk is always there,” he said.
Newsome emphasized he would not approach his sale of beer with an “aloof attitude.”
Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy noted that the Land Development Ordinance requires specific evidence against the request. One requirement ó that the sale of alcohol not be permitted within 500 feet of a school ó was met.
Koontz Elementary School is across the interstate and some 2,000 feet away.
“I don’t see how, frankly, we can deny it,” Kennedy said.
The property’s Highway Business zoning allows the use of “bar/tavern/nightclub,” which is defined as a business “where alcoholic beverages are sold for on-site consumption, which are not part of a larger restaurant.”
Woodson said the city could always revoke the special-use permit if it determines that the alcohol-selling privilege is being abused.

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