TABC Surveys – Boundary Surveys
TABC Surveys in the City of San Antonio.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is the agency responsible for regulating, inspecting, and taxing the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages in Texas. Understanding the TABC survey procedure and criteria can help your business plan accordingly and choose a location that will allow for the sale of alcohol.
What is a TABC boundary survey?
The City of San Antonio requires a “Certified survey map of the property prepared by a licensed survey or state licensed engineer which indicates that you meet the locational requirements to sell alcohol.” The City of San Antonio Development Services Department has published Information Bulletin 168 that helps explain the purpose of the survey and details the methods of measurement and determining which buildings/properties comply with the requirements of obtaining the alcohol permit.
These surveys are conducted to make sure that alcohol-serving establishments are not situated close to places of worship, educational institutions, and other public buildings. To make sure that companies are following state rules and regulations, the City requires a certified survey map of the property.
Methods for conducting a TABC survey
(Information below taken from Pages 2 and 3 of the City of San Antonio Development Services Department, TABC Applications – Information Bulletin 168, dated October 21, 2009 and revised April 23, 2017)
The alcohol sales distance criteria adopted by the City of San Antonio is established by §4-6 of the City Code, which is attached to this Information Bulletin for reference. State law authorizes municipalities to elect to adopt a 300-foot spacing requirement or a 1,000 foot spacing criteria for the sale of alcoholic beverages from churches, schools and hospitals. The City of San Antonio adopted the 300 feet option in 1977. When a spacing requirement is adopted, the methodology to measure such distances is determined by the State of Texas and the City has no discretion to depart from such methodology.
§109.33 (b) of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code prescribes the following method to calculate the required 300 foot distance as follows:
(b) The measurement of the distance between the place of business where alcoholic beverages are sold and the church or public hospital shall be along the property lines of the street fronts and from front door to front door, and in direct line across intersections. The measurement of the distance between the place of business where alcoholic beverages are sold and the public or private school shall be:
(1) in a direct line from the property line of the public or private school to the property line of the place of business, and in a direct line across intersections; or
(2) if the permit or license holder is located on or above the fifth story of a multistory building, in a direct line from the property line of the public or private school to the property line of the place of business, in a direct line across intersections, and vertically up the building at the property line to the base of the floor on which the permit or license holder is located. As indicated above, the state law requires measurement of the distance from the front door of a church or public hospital to the front door of the proposed alcohol-sales establishment along the street front.
As indicated above, the state law requires measurement of the distance from the front door of a church or public hospital to the front door of the proposed alcohol-sales establishment along the street front.
If on the same side of the street, measurement continues along the along street frontage to a point perpendicular to the front door of the church or public hospital, and then from the street frontage to the front door of the church or public hospital.
If a street has to be crossed, then measurement continues from the street front point that is perpendicular to the front door of the establishment to the nearest intersection, across that intersection in a straight line and then back along the street frontage to a point perpendicular to the front door of the church or public hospital and then from that point to the church or hospital’s front door.
From the alcohol sales establishment to a school, the calculation is a simple property-line to property line measurement, without respect to the location of the door or the path of travel. The illustration below uses Fenwick Elementary School as an example, with the buffer line indicating properties located within 300 feet of the school.
Preparing for a TABC survey
It’s crucial that if your business is planning to sell alcohol, that you are aware of the requirements from TABC and the City of San Antonio. If your company has reviewed COSA IB 168 and Development Services is requesting a TABC Survey Map, then Summit Geomatics can assist by preparing a certified survey map.
Our team of licensed land surveyors begins by compiling public GIS data to research whether there are any identifiable conflicts and then our surveyors visit the site for an on-site inspection and upon completion of the on-site inspection we provide our clients with a certified map that they can take to the city for completing their permits.
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