Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Which American retail business engenders the most land use opposition -- other than Wal-Mart, of course? It might be Hooters restaurant, which opened yesterday in Spartanburg, S.C., after a series of legal battles. According to the story in the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, the opening appeared to have been a success.
The legal squabbles illuminate some odd features of land use law. First, the city recently annexed the land on which the Hooters sits, in order to provide the restaurant with the advantages of Spartanburg's loose Sunday liquor policies. It makes little sense, of course, to have adjoining urban municipalities hold differing liquor laws. And of course the opening was delayed by a challenge to the granting of a liquor license, by a local official who felt that the Hooters was planned for a location -- near a local shopping mall -- that was inappropriate for a burger and barbeque joint that advertises scantily clad waitresses. I'd scoff at such a challenge, if the opening day of the Hooters didn't feature a 16-year-old's birthday party …