Alcohol Distance Variances

Although Prohibition ended in 1933, the alcoholic beverage industry remains one of the most heavily regulated in the U.S. Today the Federal Government plays a role, but in most states, it is up to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to set policy on the density, location, and nature of sales outlets through its licensing activities. 

There are 11 states, including Texas, that allow municipalities to adopt a local ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages within a certain distance of a public or private school, church, day-care, child-care center and/or public hospital.  

Cities and counties are not required to put distance ordinances in place, and they can grant distance variances as they see fit. That said, many cities do have these requirements in place, and it is critical to understand the additional steps required to obtain a license if your business is near one of these protected institutions.  

For example, Dallas, Texas requires a separation between beer and wine sellers and schools. Our team has obtained numerous variances to the distance requirements for grocery stores including Tom Thumb, Trader Joe’s, Alberton’s, Cash Saver and many others.  

The details of the law are quite complex, and there are some instances where these ordinances do not apply. If your new business location conflicts with an existing distance regulation, we recommend contacting Masterplan to better understand your options. 



Our alcohol distance variance clients include:




Eric Ochel
Account Executive  

With nearly three decades of experience across diverse sectors, Eric is responsible for developing new strategies and initiatives, building new relationships while maintaining existing client and partner relationships, and advising clients on housing developments. As a licensed commercial real estate agent, Eric uses his expertise and experience within the real estate, finance, and consulting industries to develop relationships with owners and developers to identify solutions that match their goals and ensures and positive client experience.   


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