The news that Abundant Living Faith Center is going to move into the old Tricky Falls location in the Alhambra Theater caught a lot of people off guard. It also raised some questions, specifically, can a church open up in the area of so many downtown bars?

According to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission website:

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code permits city councils or county commissioners courts to adopt a local ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages within 300 feet of a public or private school, church and/or public hospital.
Cities and counties are not required to have these ordinances (the statute is merely permissive) and are free to grant variances as they see fit. If the city or county has not adopted such an ordinance, then there is no requirement that a location selling alcoholic beverages must be any specific distance from a church, school, public hospital, day-care center or child-care facility.

I spoke with Sarah from the City's Planning and Inspections Department and she told me that the City does require a 300 ft. buffer between churches and establishments that sell alcohol. If there is already an establishent within that 300 ft. buffer zone when a church moves in, however, that establishment has seniority and does not have to close down or stop selling alcohol.

That means that any establishments that sell alcohol in the area of the Alhambra Theater are safe as long as they are up and running before the Abundant Living Faith Center gets their occupancy paperwork in with the Planning Department.

A church and bars all within walking distance of each other. This should be interesting.