AUBURN — For most of the citizen’s communications period during Tuesday night’s Auburn City Council meeting, Auburn AME Zion Church members spoke against a proposed package store located at 316 N. Donahue Drive.
Those present did not have to wait long to learn their opposition to the store was successful after the council voted six to three against approving University Wine and Spirits’ commercial and entertainment use application.
Ward 3 Council Member Beth Witten, Ward 4 Council Member Tyler Adams and Ward 7 Council Member Max Coblentz were the three council members who voted to approve the conditional use.
The denial comes after the Auburn Planning Commission originally recommended approving the application by a seven to two vote at its May 9 meeting and the council voted to table the vote at its May 21 meeting.
Before the vote, Witten asked City Manager Megan McGowen Crouch if the council could once again table the vote, but Crouch and other city employees advised councilors to decide one way or another.
Auburn AME Zion Church pastor Stephen Faulk spoke first during the citizens’ communication period, imploring council members to consider the city’s African-American community and vote against the proposed package store.
He also detailed confrontations between church members and people drinking alcohol in the parking lot and said the presence of another liquor store in the area could increase problems in the surrounding area.
“I don’t know how many churches are in Auburn, but I really question how many of those churches have or will have three liquor stores within 1,500 feet (of their building),” Faulk said. “That’s a little bit too much, and we would ask that you would look at certain opposition and vote against that liquor store.”
Other church members told the council the community supported the accompanying grocery store, which will open at that same location regardless since it is considered a use by right.
“We need a store where we can go in and buy fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut meats and even some household items. We need a store that will give some of the kids in our community the opportunity for employment to further their education and job skills,” AME Zion church member H.V. Still said. “What we don’t need is another whiskey store.”


  • The council approved a $5 million financial contribution to the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center to create a 3,500-square-foot studio theater, construct an exterior stage and enhance the existing amphitheater. That contribution will be made in equal installments over 10 years.
  • The council approved a loan of up to $316,000 from the Economic Development Loan Fund to Friendship Foods, Inc., doing business as Country’s Barbecue. That loan will help pay for equipment for a restaurant located at 1021 Opelika Road and must be repaid within six years.
  • The council approved a roughly $134,500 contract with Azteca Systems, Inc. That contract, which renews the Cityworks Software Enterprise License Agreement,
  • The council approved a $51,600 contract with Stryker Medical to purchase a Life Pak 15 heart monitor.
  • The council approved a ground lease with the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation to create Ann Pearson Park. That park, located at 1420 Shelton Mill Road to be used as a 47.3-acre passive park available to the public. The lease term will last for 50 years and at a rate of $10 annually.
  • The council approved a contract with the Auburn Game Day Law Enforcement Corporation and area public safety agencies for supplemental law enforcement services during Auburn University sporting events. That contract begins on Aug, 1 and ends on July 31, 2025. The university will reimburse the city financially for costs associated with this agreement.
  • The council approved a contract with Auburn University for supplemental law enforcement services during Auburn University sporting events. That contract begins on Aug. 1 and ends on July 31, 2025. The university will reimburse the city financially for costs associated with this agreement.
  • The council approved a restaurant retail liquor license for Auburn Tacos LLC doing business as Fuzzy’s Taco Shop at 1678 S. College St.
  • The council commended the Auburn High School girls varsity soccer team for winning the 2024 Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 7A state championship.
  • The council accepted public drainage and utility easements from JL Ventures LLC and relocated existing a sanitary sewer easement at a property located near the 600 block of West Veterans Parkway.
  • The council accepted a sanitary sewer easement from JMJ Development LLC for the redivision of an industrial lot located on Webster Road at McMillan Street.
  • The council announced a “Back to School” sales tax holiday, which exempts certain items from city sales taxes. That holiday begins on July 19 and ends on July 21.
  • The council approved an ordinance installing traffic control signs and devices in the Northgate Subdivision. Those signs and devices include one stop sign, one 25 mile-per-hour sign, four one‐way signs, four regulatory roundabout yield/circulation signs and four roundabout circulation signs.