Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- Neighborhood residents gathered Monday at the steps of civil court, hoping to close the chapter in a bitter battle with the Fair Zone Convenience Store.

The store's owner wants his alcohol license reinstated after it was revoked by the zoning board.

Across the street is Stallings Playground, and that is what is raising concerns.

'With the mayor's NOLA for life program and the issues with our youth and violence, I want to make sure our playground is safe for our kids,' said Neighborhood Association President Morgan Clevenger.

The store's lawyer said the city illegally demolished the building and he should be grandfathered in to sell again due to the damage from a hurricane; otherwise an act of God.

Lawyers with the city and the neighborhood presented evidence to the judge stating the structure was badly damaged long before any storm.

'When people sustained damage during Katrina, they repaired their property. He never did that properly,' said Sarah Stogner, who is representing the neighborhood.

Residents say since closing they have felt safer.

'I don't have to worry people drinking and smoking on the corner. They have moved to another location,' said Terry White.

No decision was made Monday. A judge is expected to make a ruling in the next two weeks.

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