NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Residents in North Little Rock's Park Hill neighborhood will begin voting this week on whether or not to remain the only dry section of North Little Rock.
The ordinance was first passed by neighborhood residents in 1967, and businesses haven't been able to serve alcohol since that time. For years, NLR chamber president Terry Hartwick has encouraged residents to support a proposal to allow restaurants to serve drinks, and now they'll have an opportunity to adopt that proposal.
"I can see Park Hill becoming another Hillcrest to some extent. Will it happen overnight? No, but it's a start," said the former North Little Rock Mayor. "I think it's important for Park Hill. I really do."
THV11 spoke with a number of residents who agree with Hartwick. They said upscale restaurants are the one thing missing from Park Hill, but former LRPD officer and current Park Hill resident David Craig said he'll be voting against the measure because it includes more than restaurants.
"I don't want package alcohol sold in the convenience stores," explained Craig. "What I don't want to have is you get people drifting in, hanging around the convenience stores, and next thing you know, you have the police called and things like that to break up disturbances."
Hartwick said while the proposal would allow gas stations to sell beer and wine, liquor stores would still be banned from the neighborhood.
Alcohol Beverage Control of Arkansas says that this does open up the possibility of bars and taverns to open in the area.
Early voting begins Tuesday and continues to the official voting day on Nov. 12. If the vote fails, two years must pass before a new vote is issued.
Read Act 1018 regarding the Park Hill alcohol vote (PDF)