Residents of the Sharpstown neighborhood have been plenty upset about plans for a new nightclub.
The proposed club, El Zorro, would essentially replace the late, not-lamented-at-all Carnaval, the scene of many a late-night HPD visit, not to mention misdeeds that HPD never heard about.
Residents packed a two-day hearing last week as the El Zorro owners requested a liquor license. State Rep. Scott Hochberg gave an impassioned speech, saying this request was exactly what he was thinking of when he authored a law allowing the TABC to take into consideration when a city considers a nightclub "a nuisance."
So, did the residents win?
It's not final by any means, but they've definitely gotten off on the right foot.
The city attorney's office tells Hair Balls that the hearing judge made clear at the end of the proceedings that he will recommend that TABC reject the proposed license.
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"Generally, the TABC takes the judge's recommendation," says the lawyer in the city attorney's office, who talked under a condition of anonymity (Since several elected officeholders would like to be trumpeting the news themselves.)
A written order from the judge will come out within 60 days; if the TABC upholds it, the El Zorro owners can always appeal the decision in state district court.
But if they do, they'll once again be facing an army of residents, not to mention well-prepared exhibits and stats from HPD.
-- Richard Connelly