Council to mull liquor store approval

La Cañada Flintridge City Council members are expected as early as next week to discuss whether they would support the former Foothill Liquor location on 823 Foothill Blvd. reopening for sales of alcohol.

The council must weigh whether to grant the shuttered location's new owner a letter of public convenience or necessity, which would be sent to the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for consideration in the licensing process.

The location was purchased from previous owners by Melina Issakhanian, who, according to her request for findings of public convenience, currently operates a liquor store in Glendale. She seeks to develop the Foothill Boulevard site, which has been a liquor store for decades, as a high-end liquor and wine store, stating specifically in her request that "it will not be a convenience store."

Council members postponed a discussion of the matter last week so that city staff could analyze guidelines for findings of public convenience.

ABC regulations allow for three liquor sale sites in the proposed store's census tract, according to a report by city senior planner Fred Buss, but five already exist — Alcorn Liquor, La Cañada Imports, Vons, Ralphs and Trader Joe's.

Issakhanian's request states that she signed a lease on the property with the understanding that she would inherit Foothill Liquor's conditional use permit, which appears to be the case.

However, because Foothill Liquor has been shuttered for several months and the previous owner lost her ABC license, Issakhanian must apply to the ABC for a new one.

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