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SAN FERNANDO : Battle Over Liquor Permits Is Likely

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The next skirmish in the continuing battle over new liquor permits in San Fernando will probably be tonight at the City Council meeting.

A local citizens group--Valley Organized In Community Efforts, or VOICE--is actively supporting an ordinance that would allow only one new permit at this time. An alternative proposal would allow new alcohol sales licenses to be granted, but only to stores at least 600 feet from a school or 300 feet from a church.

The council will probably delay action on the issue by extending a moratorium, now in effect, on all permits.

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But even if that action is taken, members of VOICE said they plan to press council members tonight to publicly proclaim their views on the ordinances.

At a workshop meeting on the issue earlier this month, most City Council members refused to commit themselves one way or the other. The meeting turned into a shouting match between the council and VOICE members and was cut short.

San Fernando now has 32 stores that sell liquor and 23 restaurants and bars that serve alcohol in its 2.4-square-mile area. The city has more than twice the county average of one liquor outlet per 1,000 residents.

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