Strict New Rules Imposed on 7-Eleven : Van Nuys: Officials allow the store to keep its liquor permit by abiding by 21 restrictions.


A 7-Eleven market in Van Nuys, cited four times for selling alcohol to minors and intoxicated customers, must curtail its hours of operation, stop selling single cans of beer and abide by 19 other conditions, Los Angeles zoning officials ruled Friday.

At a zoning hearing last month, police, city officials and community groups testified that the store at 15317 Vanowen St. had become a haven for criminals, and asked that its liquor sales permit be revoked.

But other witnesses and representatives of the Southland Corp., which owns 7-Eleven, described the market as an asset to the community and said that franchise owner Abdul Ghulamhussain had been working to resolve the problems.

After the hearing, Associate Zoning Administrator James J. Crisp ruled that the store would be allowed to keep its permit, but only under a strict set of conditions that would be based on his review of comments from members of the community, police, city officials and store representatives.

In his ruling Friday announcing the conditions, Crisp described the store as a "public nuisance," scene of rampant drug activity, prostitution, public drunkenness, loitering, loud nighttime noise and lewd conduct.

Under the conditions that Crisp imposed, the store, which had been open 24 hours a day, is allowed to operate only between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. The store is also prohibited from selling or furnishing corkscrews or cups and glasses for consumption of alcohol on the premises. Beer can only be sold in six-packs and and wine-coolers in four-packs.

A uniformed guard must be on the site at all times and signs prohibiting loitering and public drinking must be prominently displayed.

Executives of the Southland Corp. said they had not read the ruling and declined to comment.

Four times between 1989 and 1990, store clerks sold alcohol to underage or intoxicated customers and Ghulamhussain was fined or his liquor license suspended by the state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, police told the hearing last month.

An aide to City Councilman Joel Wachs, whose district includes the store, described the market's history in asking at the hearing that the permit be revoked.

"We've had so many applications from small markets and restaurants that want to apply for a permit, but because we have so many places selling alcohol, we have no choice but to deny their application," Tom Henry, Wachs' planning and land-use deputy, said Friday.

Wachs "would much rather see places like this denied so somebody new who might be a better neighbor can take their place," Henry said.

If the store does not abide by the conditions, the permit will be revoked, Crisp wrote.

"We'll wait and see if they work," Henry said.

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