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Sale of Liquor Is Barred Near Dana Schools

Times Staff Writer

In an effort to curb students’ access to alcohol, the Dana Point City Council has passed an ordinance blocking a liquor license for a convenience store being built near Dana Hills High School.

The ordinance approved unanimously Tuesday night prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages within 500 feet of parks, schools and churches, and within 100 feet of residences.

The law, which took effect Wednesday, bars a Circle K convenience store from obtaining a license to sell beer and wine from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

‘Won’t Have to React Again’

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“Now we have an ordinance that will affect any new business that would come in, so we won’t have to react to it again,” Dana Point City Councilman Mike Eggers said.

However, a representative for the store said he believes that the ordinance comes too late to affect their status. If the ordinance does cover Circle K, he said, an appeal may be considered.

The council contended that the store would pose many problems if allowed to sell alcohol. The store, scheduled to open June 1, is in the Village shopping area at Street of the Golden Lantern and Acapulco Drive, near the high school.

“Kids face enough problems in school, so they don’t need any additional enticement from a store that sells alcohol nearby,” Eggers said.

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Initial Agreement

City and school officials and nearby residents initially made an agreement with the franchise’s first owners that the Circle K store would sell no alcohol. However, the store’s new owner--unaware of the initial agreement--requested an application from the ABC.

A notice of the application, posted March 1, angered school board members and residents from the Marinita Townhomes and the Dana Woods Community Assn., all of whom wrote letters to the city and the ABC protesting the application.

“Historically, (we have) fought any liquor sale occurring across the street from the high school,” said Dana Hills High’s vice principal, William Smith.

Smith said the store could become a “hangout” for students as well as “non-students who might harass our students. And we can’t control that.”

Representatives from the two community associations addressed the council Tuesday night and presented petitions against the store’s license.

No one spoke in favor of the store; representatives from Circle K were not present, City Manager William O. Talley said.

Circle K Says Too Late

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Douglas Nye, real estate manager of the western region for Circle K Convenience Stores Inc., said that he was unaware of the council’s decision but that he does not believe it will affect the store.

“We applied for the ABC license and made arrangements for the liquor section before the city’s zoning action,” he said, “so I don’t understand how this will change anything.”

Nye said the company would have to look into the matter further, and, if necessary, would appeal the zoning ordinance.

“I’m not sure that an appeal will even be necessary,” he said, “but we need to get all the information first. . . . We put a lot of money into the store.”


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