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San Fernando Extends Rule on Alcohol Sales

The San Fernando City Council has voted to extend a temporary measure requiring stores to obtain city permits before selling alcoholic beverages.

City officials said the extension, passed at Tuesday’s meeting, gives them up to 10 1/2 months to draft a permanent law that would set specific guidelines for liquor sales within the city. Planning Director Norm Canchola said he expects to have a proposed ordinance ready for the council by November.

The council passed an initial 45-day urgency ordinance July 15 in response to lobbying from a community group, which complained that San Fernando’s many liquor stores contribute to crime and delinquency.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote extended the ordinance so that city officials will have time to study similar liquor ordinances in Long Beach and South-Central Los Angeles, Canchola said.

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Under the temporary ordinance, the Planning Commission must conduct public hearings before granting conditional-use permits allowing liquor sales in stores and restaurants. Public hearings must also be held when such stores change ownership, city officials said.

The council has directed the Planning Commission to consider proximity to other liquor and convenience stores and schools. City officials said they will also consider health and safety by considering whether liquor stores promote loitering and public drunkenness.

Provisions of the temporary ordinance may also be drafted into the permanent law, Canchola said.


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