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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Moorpark

Council Lets Store Sell Hard Liquor

May 19, 2000|KATRINA DEAN

Despite concerns about selling liquor near a preschool, the City Council has voted to let a convenience store sell more than wine and beer.

The council voted 3 to 1 Wednesday to let the Handiest Food Mart sell hard liquor. Mayor Pat Hunter was the dissenting vote.

"It is not up to us to legislate morality," said Councilwoman Debbie Rodgers.

Although the license was approved, the convenience store has restrictions. Only 87 square feet of the store can be used to sell alcohol.

"We are very pleased about the whole thing," Handiest Food Mart owner Tom Galicia said. "I don't think we will have any problems."

Galicia came to city officials a month ago, requesting to upgrade the store's liquor license. But concerns from neighbors prompted officials to research effects of liquor license upgrades.

"We contacted several other jurisdictions and found that none of them had any problems as a result of the upgrading process," said Director of Community Development Wayne Loftus.

But the mayor voted against the upgrade because selling hard alcohol next to a preschool and a school bus stop was a disaster waiting to happen, he said.

"What concerns me is that it will take a major catastrophic event before the council will take action to revoke the permit," Hunter said. "It was a difficult decision to make, but I wanted to err on the side of caution."

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