HOUSTON - Heights residents have a big decision to make on Tuesday.
There’s a measure on the ballot that would allow beer and wine to be sold in the historic dry neighborhood for the first time in over 100 years.
The Houston Heights Beverage Coalition supports Proposition 1. The group is backed by H-E-B, which hopes to open a new location in the dry zone.
H-E-B Houston President, Scott McClelland, took to the streets to rally support for Proposition 1 on Saturday.
“This is one of the last pockets in the entire state where there has been a ban. It predates women’s ability to vote. It’s archaic. We don’t think it will change the fabric of the Heights,” said McClelland.
Some residents believe changing the rule will change the neighborhood.
Members of the “Keep the Heights Dry” movement worry changing the ordinance will open the door to more chains and corner stores.
“Why do they need to change the rules that have been in play for 104 years that give us the character of who we are?” said Ashish Mahendru, a lawyer and Heights resident.
Mahendru explained that he doesn’t oppose alcohol or H-E-B, but he believes the restrictions are what gives the Heights its character.
“This is important to our livelihood. This is important to us raising our children in a safe, charming, beautiful environment that we have collectively revitalized and brought to the Heights,” said Mahendru.
H-E-B executives say they will only consider opening a new store on Shepherd if they can offer beer and wine sales.
“My number one category is wine. My number three category is beer,” said McClelland. “For me to spend $25 million to build a store and not be able to sell those two categories, it doesn’t make it profitable.”
The ballot measure would not change existing laws for restaurants or liquor sales.
Only about 10,000 residents who live in the dry zone can vote on Proposition 1.