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To-go Alcohol License Meetings on 3/20 and 3/22

"Public Convenience or Necessity" will be decided by the Board of Supervisors on 3/20/18 for the Sprouts Farmers Market (in Town & Country Village) alcohol sales license request and considered for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors by the Arden Arcade Community Planning Advisory Council (CPAC) on 3/22/18 for the 7-Star Market (Morse & Arden) alcohol sales license request. These meetings matter because, as you may have read here already,  1) our community is overloaded with places to buy alcohol to-go, 2) the Sheriff says our commercial areas are "high crime", 3) the Sheriff's liquor deputy says enforcement of conditions on alcohol sales kind of depends on citizens being alert, and 4) both the CA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the CA Alcohol Beverage Control Appeals Board say there is nothing they can do about excessive liquor licenses if the Supervisors insist on approving them. Let's take a deeper look.

SPROUTS is going in where the SaveMart was on Marconi in Town and Country Village. Sprouts is asking for a beer and wine license, which they say is related to food pairings. Their proposed floor plan shows minimal area for beer and wine sales, reflecting their stated preference for craft beer and varietal wine. By contrast, the SaveMart there had a full license (beer, wine, spirits) and had a more traditional, largish beer aisle selling beer bust and tailgate party cartons of megabrews like Bud and Coors Light. So, you could say the Sprouts license is going in the right direction -- smaller volume, no hard stuff, marketed to customers for their evening meals. That's a plus for the community, given the existing over-concentration of to-go alcohol sales at that specific vicinity. But it was Sprout's idea, not the Supervisors'. The CPAC has already recommended approval and the Supervisors' history is to approve any and all ABC licenses, no matter what. Hence it is a lead-pipe since they will OK this one. It would be interesting if they will take a clue and buy into the down-sizing approach taken by Sprouts, because that might signal the public that the Supervisors are beginning to listen to the public. The item is timed for 2:15 p.m. on 3/20/18 in the Supervisors' Chambers at 700 H. Street in downtown Sacramento.  

7-STAR wants to add full-on alcoholic beverage sales to its existing produce market that abuts BevMo. Of course the new license is silly in terms of "convenience or necessity" for the buying public, but that's not how the Supervisors look at "convenience or necessity". The Supervisors have shown a tendency in the past to focus on the "necessity" that something old gets leased or something new gets built. What they really mean by that is that any new revenue is good, and they cover themselves by hiding behind a Sheriff's letter about how strict conditions will be applied. So you can expect 7-Star to proudly proclaim how their new facade and some landscaping will make the existing truly-ugly corner look a lot better. And it will, but there is a new wrinkle in that this is the once-in-a-very-blue-moon times that the Sheriff is saying "ixnay" because of "high crime" (well, duh..) and "over-concentration" (double duh..). For once, the Sheriff's recommendation is reality-based.  Never mind that the Sheriff is running for re-election and this is likely the last liquor license before the voters go to the polls. Will the CPAC be convinced and send up a recommendation against the new license? What will the Supervisors do? And will the Supervisors consider this request before or after the election? The item will be heard by the CPAC at 7:00p.m. on 3/22/18 in the Howe Park Community Center at 2201 Cottage Way in unincorporated Arden Arcade.

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The 7-Star produce market at Arden & Morse wants to sell products you can get at its next-door neighbor or at the Safeway just down the street, but the Sheriff (for once!) is opposed. 
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