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City of Racine is Moving to Rezone a Shuttered Corner Store to Prevent Future Liquor Sales from Happening

The City of Racine wants to rezone a shuttered corner store. Some elected officials call 'Sunshine Supermarket' a public nuisance. A Racine County Judge plainly called it a "drug house."

The main point of this vote is to try to prevent future liquor sales from happening at whatever takes over the space left vacant by Sunshine Supermarket. Sunshine was permanently closed through a court order in early March. That shop is located at the corner of 16th and Taylor. Racine County Circuit Court Judge David Paulson had already ruled the property a public nuisance because of criminal activity. He ruled the defendants were negligent and didn't address issues caught by police.

Those issues started back in September when police say they issued dozens of citations for illegal alcohol and cigarette sales.

In October, police say a homicide happened in an apartment above Sunshine. That space has also been boarded up. The council's hope is that by rezoning the space so that people there won't be able to sell alcohol. 

"Our intent there is to remove the alcohol. It's to remove the large volume of traffic. It's to let the neighborhood have some peace in relative quiet. Anything that goes in there, because of the nature of the rezoning that we're doing will need a conditional use permit that gets approved by the plan commission and by the council," said President of Racine Common Council Dennis Wiser.

The vote would change the zoning from B2 Community Shopping to R3 Limited General Residence District. The difference is R3 does not allow for the sale of alcohol. Tonight, the proposal was referred to the council's plan committee. 

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