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Vote Against Sale of Alcohol Lauded

May 11, 1986

Congratulations to Lynwood's City Council for unanimously sustaining (on appeal) its Planning Commission's denial of a takeout beer/wine permit application for a Long Beach Boulevard meat market located in an area blighted with booze outlets of all types. The application was strongly protested by church and law enforcement leaders, as well as other concerned citizens.

Unfortunately, the matter became an issue partly because of the tiny spacing distance of 300 feet between one off-sale outlet and another in Lynwood's recently enacted ordinance. Adding irony to the neighborhood protest was the proximity-to-churches restriction that the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control still considers in evaluating license applications, one of several consideration points lacking in Lynwood's new zoning ordinance.

South Gate residents, however, face improved prospects to reduce community alcohol-related problems. Their proposed ordinance contains not only 600-feet minimum distances from other liquor establishments for all new applications, but also from residentially zoned areas, churches, schools, hospitals and playgrounds. Lynwood, nevertheless, bans retails sales of booze wherever gasoline is sold, a concern South Gate is still grappling with.

Recent legislative efforts by oil companies and so-called convenience stores to gut long-held zoning powers of cities and counties over alcohol outlets ought to convince concerned residents that their public health, safety and welfare is at stake.

Given the massive campaign contributions by all segments of the booze merchants, it's high time the citizen-voter lobbied his local government leaders--including school district officials, who ought to be concerned with how many and what kind of alcohol outlet does business near what school.



Chavira is a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Alcoholism.

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