The next time you fill up your car’s gas tank you could also fill up your liquor cabinet after the Mesquite City Council approved a change to city codes allowing full off-sale liquor in convenience stores and gas stations at their Tuesday, May 23 meeting.

Before the change, c-stores and gas stations were only allowed to sell beer and wine. Now businesses can apply for a conditional use permit that the council will review and approve or disapprove on a case-by-case basis.

“This doesn’t mean every application will be approved,” said Richard Secrist, Development Services Director. A conditional use permit requires oversight of certain locations, impacts and uses by the council.

Councilman George Rapson said, “this is a no-brainer for me. Our goal has always been to be business friendly and I don’t understand why there was a prohibition in the first place.”

Councilman Brian Wursten said he originally had reservations about approving the change but additional language added to the ordinance change requiring council oversight made him more comfortable with the proposal.

Mayor Al Litman said his research showed that Clark County is the only county in the state that currently does not allow liquor sales at gas stations and c-stores. He added that the prohibition established years ago was at the behest of liquor store owners who apparently didn’t want the extra competition.

Immediately after the council unanimously approved the change, owners of the new Eagles Landing travel center/truck stop at the I-15 Exit 118 interchange received the go-ahead to include a liquor store in their architectural and site plans.

The new travel center will include a 18,286-square foot convenience store, a 2,600-square foot tire store and a Wendy’s restaurant with a drive-thru. The liquor store will occupy a separate area of the overall building with separate entrances. No on-site consumption of liquor products will be allowed.

The council also approved a code variance to allow a 100-foot pole sign at the Mesquite Mart gas station and convenience store located at the I-15 Exit 120 interchange.

Even though the sign was installed during construction of the gas station in March, Secrist said his office inadvertently approved the sign along with the smaller signs that were also installed without bringing the variance approval to council. “Even though we got the cart before the horse, I wouldn’t have changed my recommendation anyway,” Secrist said. “We have several 100-foot signs in other areas of the city.”

The variance was unanimously approved.