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Long Beach : Alcohol Permit Rule Lifted

April 23, 1987

To encourage a livelier night life in downtown Long Beach, the City Council agreed this week to make it easier for businesses to move into the city's redevelopment area by exempting them from applying for a city alcohol-related permit.

Businesses affected are those that include the sale of alcoholic beverages--such as restaurants--which move into the downtown area zoned as central business, located south of 7th Street between Pacific and Linden avenues.

Such businesses help create "a vibrant nighttime tourist and entertainment center," Robert J. Paternoster, the city's planning and building director wrote in a report to the council.

City officials said the permit requirement for businesses which include the sale of alcoholic beverages in the redevelopment area is redundant. The businesses already have such provisions in their agreements with the redevelopment agency, they said. Also, the city is contacted by the state Alcoholic Beverage Control before that agency grants its liquor permit, city officials said.

Although two other council members expressed concern that the change might remove safety "hoops," Councilman Warren Harwood was the lone dissenter on the vote.

Harwood called the amendment to the zoning regulation "a step backward" and said he feared it could leave the door open for problem-plagued bars to move into the redevelopment area. "It seems that what we're doing is taking away a protection," Harwood said.

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