Plans for a new ABC store in Terrell have ended, after a bitter dispute between some residents and the Catawba County ABC board helped keep the building from materializing.
Randy Isenhower, the chairman of the Catawba County ABC board, told the Observer on Wednesday that the developer who initially sold the land at N.C. 150 and Sherrills Ford Road asked to withdraw from the contract earlier this month. The ABC board voted to grant that withdrawal Tuesday night, and must now consider whether to look for another site.
Residents had long fought against the proposed store, gathering as many as 1,000 signatures in petitions circulating around the area. Vocal residents protested at a March ABC board meeting, saying the building would be in a historic part of town near a church and school.
“(The protests) factored in the decision,” Isenhower said. “We had community opposition plus a developer who wanted to withdraw. Why press forward when you have two factions that don't want it?”
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Isenhower said he wasn't sure if the ABC board would try to find another site in the area. “We're really in no hurry to do that,” he said.
ABC officials had chosen the Terrell site because it would be near the proposed The Village at Sherrills Ford, a massive retail and housing development that is expected within the decade. But TVD, which owned the land, asked to withdraw earlier this month because of rezoning issues in the area, according to Isenhower.
Dee Greene, one of the leaders of the resident protest, sent an e-mail announcing the decision to others involved.
“It does not matter how, when, where or why the Catawba County ABC board chose to end their quest for this site,” she wrote. “All that really matters is that they did, and for that we will forever be grateful.”