The North Long Beach Liquor Store Modernization Project is an initiative with a mission to improve the health and safety of our community by implementing new performance standards addressing nuisances and criminal activities related to off-sale type 21 Alcohol Outlets.
This on-going project, created in 2012, is making strides in ensuring that store premises are properly maintained so that its operating characteristics are compatible with, and contribute to, the overall livability and development of surrounding neighborhoods.
In 2012, Councilmembers Steven Neal and Al Austin created the Liquor Store Modernization Initiative to address neighborhood concerns related to the impacts of alcohol outlets in the community.
The initiative consisted of a series of surveys and focus groups of local families as well as a comprehensive assessment of the conditions and density of liquor outlets in North Long Beach.
The study determined that North Long Beach has a share of 35.7% of the city’s total liquor stores, but only 20% of the city’s total population.
More specifically, when considering the number of Type 21, off-sale hard liquor stores per 10,000 residents, the average in the Ninth District is 3.1 hard liquor stores per 10,000 residents. This is compared to 1.3 liquor stores per 10,000 residents for the rest of the city. That’s roughly three times the density ratio of the rest of the city.
When liquor stores are systemically and disparately concentrated, they become symptoms and accelerators of social and economic decline in communities.
North Long Beach liquor stores are primarily located on the main transportation corridors, amongst residences, schools, churches and parks. With approximately 79% of students walking more than a mile to school, these corridors serve as the primary routes that North Long Beach youth travel on a daily basis.
Finally, in August 2013, to address the community concerns regarding public safety, nuisance activity, and poor site maintenance and appearance, the Long Beach City Council created the Alcohol Nuisance Abatement Ordinance (ANAO), regulating legal nonconforming businesses selling beer, wine, and distilled spirits for off-site consumption (liquor stores).
Businesses and property owners of each of the 26 affected liquor stores were noticed during the ordinance adoption process and sent subsequent letters outlining the specific requirements of the ANAO and the deadline of January 2014 to comply with new requirements.
The adoption and implementation of the ANAO has resulted in tangible improvements to a majority of the affected liquor stores in North Long Beach. Improvements include the removal of posters, advertisements, and obstructions such as shelving and coolers blocking store windows, removal of payphones, assign business addresses to facades, and the installation of improved video surveillance and lighting systems. A number of liquor stores have also provided the Police Department with access to their on-line video surveillance systems.
As of January 2014, of the 26 remaining liquor stores in North Long Beach:
- 11 stores (42%) are on track to fully meet the new requirements
- 12 stores (46%) are nearly compliant
- 3 stores (12%) have yet to meet the requirements
NEXT STEPS: The City of Long Beach will continue to work with businesses and property owners who have not fully complied with the ANAO. Stores that display a pattern of chronic noncompliance will be subject to a due process hearing in front of the Site Plan Review Board, and possible revocation of their ability to sell liquor at the subject location.
CALL TO ACTION: To report any nuisance activity of liquor stores please call Code Enforcement at: (562) 570-2633
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