CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Church that ministers to recovering addicts is opposing plans by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to open a new store right across the street.
"It did seem like a slap in the face that anybody would want to put an ABC store across from where families are being restored," said Michael Rozell, the founder of Refuge Ranch Ministries.
The local ABC Board told NewsChannel 36 that the proposed new store would actually be hidden behind a new IHOP that is already under construction, and it would have a new Goodwill store on the other side.
"But a lot of people that are challenged financially, that struggle with all kinds of things, go into Goodwill and they are going to be looking next door at an ABC store," Rozell said.
Residents from nearby were split on the proposed new store.
"We all live in a society where we have to make our own choices and as adults we are put in tempting situations and we have to make our own choices as adults," said Angie Amann.
"No, no," countered another resident, Darlene Pyatt. "As a Christian, I don't drink. No."
The ABC Board also pointed to a grocery store and pharmacy that are within walking distance of the church, where wine and beer are already sold.
Rozell, who is himself a recovering addict, said that was true, but said a store selling hard liquor would only make the situation worse.
"Fifteen years ago I would have been in favor," said Rozell. "But after seeing what alcohol did in my life and now seeing how we are being able to restore others, it makes no sense at all."
The ABC Commission will vote in Raleigh next Wednesday on the proposal for the new store.