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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Wilmot P. Sligh, d/b/a Dazzler's, Inc. vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Wilmot P. Sligh, d/b/a Dazzler's, Inc.

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Lola Rabon

David E. Belding, Attorney for Applicant

Lola Rabon (pro se), Intervenor and Spokesperson for Protestants



This matter comes before me pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1993) and S.C. Code Ann. §§ 1-23-310, et seq. (Rev. 1986 & Supp. 1993) upon an application for an on-premises beer and wine permit and club sale and consumption minibottle license for 7303 Firelane Road, Columbia, South Carolina. A hearing was held on October 11, 1994. Upon motion and without objection, Protestant Lola Rabon was admitted as an intervening party to the action. The issues considered were: (1) the applicant's eligibility to hold a license/permit; (2) the suitability of the proposed business location; and (3) the nature of the proposed business activity. The applications for a beer and wine permit and minibottle license are hereby granted, with restrictions.


By a preponderance of the evidence, I find:

(1) Applicant seeks an on-premises beer and wine permit and club sale and consumption minibottle license for a location at 7303 Firelane Road, Columbia, South Carolina, having filed

applications with the South Carolina Department of Revenue and Taxation (hereinafter referred to as "DOR"), AI #99008 and AI #99009, on June 6, 1994.

(2) Notice of the time, date, place, and subject matter of the hearing was given to the applicant, protestants, and DOR.

(3) The DOR file was made a part of this record by reference.

(4) Applicant plans to operate the business as a non-profit corporation and private club with a portion of the business dedicated to the preparation and service of meals.

(5) Applicant presently holds two (2) other alcoholic beverages licenses for nightclubs he owns in the Columbia area.

(6) Applicant has incorporated as a non-profit corporation, having been granted a certificate of incorporation as Dazzler's, Inc. on August 23, 1994, and adopting bylaws

August 15, 1994.

(7) The proposed location is in an unincorporated section of suburban Richland County, in the northeast section of the county, on a frontage road adjacent to Interstate 20, near the Two Notch Road exit.

(8) The proposed location and adjacent neighborhood are bordered by Interstate 20, a wooded lot, a low, wet, unimproved tract of land, and a commercial corridor along Two Notch Road, O'Neil Court, and Parklane Road.

(9) No churches, schools, or playgrounds are within 500 feet of the proposed location.

(10) Intervenor Lola Rabon, a local resident, testified in protest to the applications, citing traffic and noise problems, the proximity of residences, past problems with parking, noise, and litter at the location, and the unsuitability of the proposed business activity and location as reasons for denial of the applications.

(11) The Richland County Sheriff's Department Headquarters is located approximately three miles from the proposed location, with response time estimated by Chief Deputy Fred Riddle at ten to fifteen (10-15) minutes.

(12) The proposed location has been previously operated as a night club and/or restaurant by past owners and has been licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

(13) While the proposed location was operated as "Fatties," Intervenor Rabon called the Richland County Sheriff's Department numerous times to complain about noise from the location.

(14) The primary means of vehicular access to the proposed location is via Firelane Road from Two Notch Road.

(15) The neighborhood adjacent to the proposed location, being composed of Moonglo Circle and Voss Avenue, has been used in the past as a thoroughfare for exiting patrons of the proposed location to reach Parklane Road.

(16) The proposed location is zoned for commercial use by Richland County.

(17) Applicant intends to contract with a bonded security company to have a security guard on duty during operating hours to patrol the parking lot of the proposed location.

(18) Applicant intends to prohibit patrons from parking on the shoulder of Firelane Road.

(19) Applicant intends to have employees pick up litter and debris from the grounds of the club each night as part of standard closing procedures.

(20) Applicant intends to utilize a home stereo unit, having approximately two hundred (200) watts of power, as the sole source of recorded music at the proposed location.

(21) Applicant is over twenty-one years of age, is a citizen of the State of South Carolina, and has maintained his principal residence in South Carolina for more than one year.

(22) Applicant has not had a permit/license revoked in the last five years.

(23) Applicant is of good moral character.

(24) Notice of the application appeared in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the proposed location for three consecutive weeks and was posted at the proposed location for fifteen days.


Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact, I conclude as a matter of law the following:

(1) S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1993) provides that the South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Division is empowered to hear this case pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title I of the 1976 Code, as amended.

(2) S.C. Code Ann. § 61-9-320 (Supp. 1993) provides the criteria to be met by an applicant for a beer and wine permit in South Carolina.

(3) S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-5-50 and 61-3-440 (Supp. 1993) set forth the requirements for a minibottle license.

(4) A permit or license must not be issued if an applicant does not meet the standards of S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-730 (Supp. 1993).

(5) As the trier of fact, an administrative law judge is authorized to determine the fitness or suitability of the proposed business location of an applicant for a permit to sell beer and wine

using broad but not unbridled discretion. Ronald F. Byers v. S.C. ABC Commission, 316 S.E.2d 705 (S.C. App. 1984).

(6) The determination of suitability of a location is not necessarily a function solely of geography. It involves an infinite variety of considerations related to the nature and operation of the proposed business and its impact on the community within which it is to be located. Kearney v. Allen, 287 S.C. 324, 338 S.E. 335 (1985).

(7) The proposed location is suitable and proper, based upon the commercial nature of the area, if proper safeguards are imposed to protect the nearby residential neighborhood from unwarranted noise, traffic hazards, and litter.

(8) Applicant meets the statutory requirements for issuance of a beer and wine permit and minibottle license.

(9) 23 S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-88 (1976), authorizing the imposition of restrictions to permits, provides:

Any stipulation and/or agreement which is voluntarily entered

into by an applicant in writing for a beer and wine permit between

the applicant and the South Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control

Commission, if accepted by the Commission, will be incorporated

into the basic requirements for the enjoyment and privilege of

obtaining and retaining the beer and wine permit and which shall

have the same effect as any and all laws and any and all other

regulations pertaining to the effective administration of beer and

wine permittees.

In the event that evidence is presented to this Commission that

any part of the stipulation or agreement is or has been knowingly

broken by the permittee will be a violation against the permit and

shall constitute sufficient grounds to suspend or revoke said beer

and wine permit.

(10) Permits and licenses issued by the State for the sale of liquor, beer, and wine are not rights or property, but are rather privileges granted in the exercise of the police power of the State to be used and enjoyed only so long as the restrictions and conditions governing them are complied with. As the tribunal authorized to grant the issuance of a permit is also authorized, for cause, to revoke it, that tribunal is likewise authorized to place restrictions or conditions on the permit or license. See Feldman v. South Carolina Tax Commission, 203 S.C. 49, 26 S.E.2d 22 (1943).


IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the on-premises beer and wine permit and club sale and consumption license applications of Wilmot P. Sligh, be granted, with the following restrictions and conditions, upon the applicant signing a written agreement to be filed with DOR to adhere to the stipulations set forth below:

(1) Applicant must hire professional security personnel to be present on the business premises and patrol the club parking lot during all hours in which the club is open for business and after business hours until all patrons have left the premises.

(2) Loitering in the parking lot is prohibited. Persons sitting in parked vehicles or standing in the parking lot must be ordered to immediately either leave the premises or enter the club.

(3) After closing each night of operation, security personnel must supervise the orderly departure of patrons from the parking lot.

(4) Possession or consumption of beer, wine, or liquor outside of the club building is prohibited.

(5) Applicant shall construct and erect a sign, visible from the exit of the parking lot, to instruct exiting patrons to leave the premises via Firelane Road to Two Notch Road.

(6) Applicant shall provide adequate parking for patrons.

(7) Applicant shall prohibit patrons from parking on the shoulder of Firelane Road and strictly enforce the prohibition.

(8) Applicant shall have club employees pick up litter from the grounds of the club each day/night of operation.

(9) Applicant shall not allow excessive noise to emanate from the proposed location. For purposes of this restriction, two (2) or more convictions for violation of the county noise ordinance, Chapter 18, Section 18-3, Richland County Code of Ordinances (as amended), shall be considered prima facie evidence of a violation of this provision.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a violation of any of the above conditions is considered a violation against the permit/license and may result in a fine, suspension, or revocation.




October 13, 1994

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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