cliff stop

City Council voted Wednesday not to renew a permit that allowed Cliff Stop convenience store on Clarendon near Hampton to operate a drive through.

Several neighbors spoke in favor of allowing the drive through, and several argued against it. In the end, City Councilman Scott Griggs moved not to renew the permit because the store had received violations, for failing to erect a “right-turn only” sign and for staying open past 10 p.m.

Griggs says he hopes the store will stay open without the drive through.

“I think the store is well-run,” he says. “My philosophy … is that I don’t support convenience stores with drive throughs that sell beer and wine.”

City Council members spent about two hours discussing whether to renew the permit.

Neighbors living closest to the store told City Council they fear that if the drive though closes, the store would close, and then they would be left with a vacant building. Several brought up the sketchy car wash that occupied the lot before the store was built. It was known for drug transactions and violent crimes.

“Locals were glad a new store was going in,” says Bernie Alvarado, who lives on Burlington. “It’s well-lit … Cliff Stop has a clean look, and it has been kept clean. Without the drive through, cliff stop most likely would have to close down, and it could regress. This is our community, and we want Cliff Stop to succeed.”

Others argued that Cliff Stop’s owners made promises to neighbors that they failed to keep.

“This would’ve been automatically renewed if there hadn’t been the violations,” Griggs says.

The store will lose its permit to operate as a convenience store with drive through on Sept. 26. To reopen as a convenience store with no drive through, the owners will have to apply for a new certificate of occupancy from the city.