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Gas Station Owner Loses Alcohol-Sales Appeal

February 26, 1987|DENISE HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale Board of Zoning Adjustments has denied an appeal to allow a gas-station owner to continue selling wine and beer after a city ordinance prohibiting such sales takes effect in May.

Charlie Mussalli requested a variance for his 2 1/2-year-old gas station and convenience market at 466 W. Broadway. He said his business would suffer significantly without the sale of beer and wine.

Zoning board members conceded that Mussalli might suffer some hardship because of the ordinance. But board Chairman Frank Roberts said: "It's a law and we have to go by it."

Glendale is one of about 40 cities statewide that prohibit the sale of gasoline and alcohol at the same location. Most cities imposing such laws allowed existing businesses to continue dual sales, but Glendale's law, which goes into effect May 27, will force seven businesses to choose between selling alcohol and selling gasoline.

A lawsuit seeking to overturn those bans was filed last year against Glendale and several other cities by a statewide coalition of convenience-store owners. That suit is pending.

At last Thursday's zoning board meeting, Mussalli's attorney, Timi Anyon Hallem, said that her client has invested $300,000 in the site and has a 10-year lease and that halting alcohol sales imposes a substantial hardship on him.

Mussalli's market competes with three other stores at Broadway and Pacific Avenue that sell liquor. Hallem said the ordinance is unfair because it would merely funnel former Mussalli patrons to competitors across the street.

Although alcoholic beverages account for only 17% of Mussalli's profits, customers who purchase liquor also buy other items, she said.

Hallem said her client will appeal to Glendale City Council. The other six businesses affected by the law have not filed appeals.

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