At Tuesday’s meeting, the Kerrville City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance change that would ban alcohol sales in residential neighborhoods.

The ordinance also would disallow alcohol sales within 300 feet of schools, child care facilities, schools and churches.

While council members have expressed a favorable reaction to the idea, the way the ordinance reads has been at issue during discussions.

The topic first came to council during their meeting on May 28, but because the ordinance included a section where some variances in specific zones could be granted automatically, council decided to table it.

The ordinance has since been modified so that every instance needing a variance would have to go through council, and the variance would not be automatically granted.

“This is definitely a case-by-case that would be only approved by city council,” said Councilwoman Delayne Sigerman, Place 4. “Case-by-case (makes) me feel more comfortable — it’s not just a broad sweep.”

Kerrville resident George Baroody, who was present at the meeting, said that even though the variance issue was addressed, there still are some areas in the ordinance that he thinks are unclear or misleading.

“The ordinance continues to send mixed messages about whether an establishment holding multiple Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission licenses should pay a city fee for each license or just one per establishment, so if there’s a way to maybe tackle that and make it clear, (I’d like that),” Baroody said.

Baroody said that he also thinks “residential zones” should have a clearer definition.

“It appears like it’s inadvertently prohibiting alcohol sales in a mixed-use zone altogether,” he said. “I know that’s not the intent, but we need to define residential zones a little more clearly.”

City Attorney Mike Hayes said there are a few sections in the ordinance that he still must remove or modify and that he will also try to address some of the issues Baroody brought up. In the meantime, council moved forward with the ordinance.

“I’ll research those issues,” Hayes told the council. “They seem like good issues to research, and I’ll let you know. But I don’t think you need to wait if you’re comfortable.”

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