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Lynwood : Liquor Ordinance Dropped

September 17, 1987

The Lynwood City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to kill a tough ordinance that would have restricted how liquor is sold and where new liquor stores could be opened.

The ordinance, scheduled to take effect Sept. 17, was passed last month, but the council voted earlier this month to reconsider it after hearing protests from merchants.

At Tuesday's meeting, the council asked the Planning Department and the city attorney to draft a new ordinance after City Atty. Henry S. Barbosa raised concerns over the vagueness of the measure.

The ordinance would have imposed several restrictions on store owners, such as prohibiting the sale of alcohol and gasoline from the same outlet. But the clause that drew the most attention prevented customers from buying a single beer or wine cooler.

The ordinance allowed a five-year abatement period for store owners to comply with the ordinance, but Barbosa said it did not provide merchants with a public forum to appeal restrictions in certain situations.

"What is recommended is a public hearing process before imposing conditions on the sale of alcohol and the location of outlets," Barbosa said. "The ordinance was vague because it did not focus on what was to be abated: the entire site or the conditions. Basically we need to tighten (the ordinance) up."

Barbosa said a new ordinance will be drafted and presented to the council in 30 to 60 days.

"I have no problems with this," said activist Ray Chivara, a major proponent of the ordinance. "If the ordinance is on shaky ground, then let's do something about it and make it solid."

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