South Carolina              
Administrative Law Court
Edgar A. Brown building 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 224 Columbia, SC 29201 Voice: (803) 734-0550

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Susan G. Peace, d/b/a Peace's Cafe vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Susan G. Peace, d/b/a Peace's Cafe

South Carolina Department of Revenue




This matter is before the Division pursuant to the application of Susan Gail Peace for an on-premises beer and wine permit at 3816A South Main Street, Anderson, South Carolina.

A hearing was held on May 3, 1994. From the testimony and evidence presented at that hearing, I make the following:


1. Susan Gail Peace is currently the holder of an off-premises beer and wine permit at Peace's Cafe, 3816A Main Street, Anderson. She is applying for an on-premises beer and wine permit for that location.

2. On October 10, 1991, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission denied the applicant an on-premises beer and wine permit for the same location on the basis that the location was not a suitable one.

3. On-premises beer and wine permits have been denied several times for this location.

4. The area surrounding the location is primarily residential. There are several residences located next to the location and behind the location are several trailer homes and other houses. There are some commercial establishments within close proximity of the location including a few used car and auto service businesses.

5. Homeland Park Elementary School is located about one-half mile from this location and the street in front of the location is used by the children to walk or ride bicycles to and from school.

6. Edshore Ambulance Service has an emergency medical service sub-station located on South Main Street only one block away from the location. Emergency medical personnel respond to calls from this station.

7. There are two churches within two-tenths of a mile from the location.

8. There are seven convenience stores within a one-half mile radius of the location that sell beer and wine for off-premises consumption. There are four locations within the same distance that are licensed for on-premises consumption of beer and wine or alcoholic liquors or both.

9. The Anderson County Sheriff's Department has limited funds for personnel and are not able to offer extra police protection for the area. The average response time is twenty-seven minutes.

10. The applicant is over twenty-one years of age.

11. The applicant is a citizen of South Carolina and has maintained her principal place of abode in this state for over one year.

12. The applicant has not had a permit revoked within the two years preceding the date of the application.

13. Notice was properly posted and published in a newspaper of general circulation in Anderson County.

14. The file of the Department of Revenue and Taxation (Department) was made a part of the record in this matter without objection. A copy is substituted for the original which is returned to the Department.


The Administrative Law Judge Division is vested with the powers, duties and responsibilities exercised by the former Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and hearing officers pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 1. S.C. Code of Laws § 61-1-55 (Cum. Supp. 1993). S.C. Code § 61-9-320 (Cum. Supp. 1993) provides the statutory requirements for this issuance of beer and wine permits. It states in part:

No permit authorizing the sale of beer or wine may be issued unless:


(6) The location of the proposed place of business of the applicant is in the opinion of the department a proper one. The department may consider among other factors, as indications of unsuitable location, the proximity to residences, schools, playgrounds, and churches. This item does not apply to locations licensed before its effective date.

S.C. Code § 61-9-320 (6) (Cum. Supp. 1993).

Although "proper location" is not statutorily defined, "rather broad discretion is vested in the Commission in determining the fitness or suitability of a particular location." Fast Stops, Inc. v. Ingram, 276 S.C. 593, 281 S.E.2d 181 (S.C. 1981). This determination of suitability is not solely a function of geography, but involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact upon the community where it is to be situated. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E.2d 335 (S.C. 1985); Schudel v. S.C. ABC Commission, 276 S.C. 138, 276 S.E.2d 308 (S.C. 1981).

This community called Homeland Park is primarily a residential area with a few auto repair shops in the immediate vicinity. There are several other businesses within a close radius of the location that are licensed to sell beverages with an alcoholic content that are readily accessible to this neighborhood. The photographs introduced into evidence depict the location within a few feet of residences. The residents do not oppose the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption but object to the on-premises sale and consumption. The location is near an emergency medical sub-station which answers calls and is concerned about the safety of its personnel and the surrounding community. The evidence also showed that the Anderson County Sheriff's Department would not be able to adequately provide manpower for the area if there is an increase in disturbances to the area.

In addition, proximity of a location to a church, school, playground, or residence is a proper ground, by itself, on which the location may be found unsuitable for a permit to sell beer and wine. Byers v. S.C. ABC Commission, 305 S.C. 243, 401 S.E.2d 653 (S.C. 1991). There are two churches and a school within one-half mile of the location. The elementary school has expressed concerns for the safety of its students travelling on the same street as the location.

Although the applicant meets the other statutory requirements to hold a license, based upon the foregoing findings of fact and conclusions of law relating to the location an on-premise beer and wine permit should not be issued to this location. Therefore,

IT IS ORDERED, that the application of Susan Gail Peace, d/b/a Peace's Cafe is DENIED.



Administrative Law Judge

May __, 1994

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






Copyright © 2022 South Carolina Administrative Law Court