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COSTA MESA : Residents Try to Block Liquor License

Residents who claim their neighborhood already has too many places selling alcohol are circulating a petition to block a restaurant from receiving a liquor license.

“We have enough places (that) dispense alcohol around here,” said George Brinck, 75, who helped start the petition drive. “We have enough problems in the neighborhood.”

Brinck said the petition will be presented Wednesday to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in Santa Ana, which will hold a hearing to determine whether Taco Mesa, at 647 W. 19th St., will receive a liquor license.

Taco Mesa owner Ivan Calderon said that he understands why people are against another business selling liquor but that he needs the license to be competitive.

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“There are maybe one or two too many” liquor licenses in the neighborhood, Calderon said, “but . . . it would not be fair for my restaurant to be restricted from selling beer or wine.”

Dale Rasmussen, district administrator for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, said there is no limit on the number of alcohol-selling businesses that can exist in an area.

“We look to see if there are any problems, such as law enforcement problems,” Rasmussen said. “We look to see if the business would affect nearby residents, schools, churches or parks.”

Brinck, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1965, said he has seen many drunken youths arrested in the area, and while he wants Taco Mesa to be successful, he doesn’t want it to sell alcohol.

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“We need more small businesses,” he said. “But just don’t sell more alcohol.”


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