Why the LAPD Opposes Granting an Alcohol License to a 7-Eleven Planned on York

Chief Charlie Beck tells the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control that “an over-concentration already exists” of businesses licensed to sell alcohol in the area, which witnessed 122 calls for police service over a year.

The Los Angeles Police Department received 122 calls for service over a one-year period prior to May 2012 within a two-block radius of a proposed 7-Eleven store that wishes to sell beer and wine on York Boulevard and Tonawanda Avenue.

According to a copy of a May 28, 2012 letter written by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to Morella Herrera, licensing representative of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in Los Angeles, seven businesses within the ABC census tract of the proposed 7-Eleven were licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

“There are four Off-Sale ABC licenses and four On-Sale license locations, but only three [of each type] are permitted within the census tract,” according to the letter, which refers to “Alcoholic Beverage Control File No. 521964.”

Patch obtained a copy of the letter from the office of Council member José Huizar on Wednesday, when a scheduled public hearing on the planned 7-Eleven project was postponed indefinitely by City of Los Angeles Associate Zoning Administrator Fernando Tovar because of insufficient public outreach on the part of the applicants.

If the proposed 7-Eleven is granted a new ABC license for off-sale (consumption of alcohol—beer and wine only in this case—off the premises in original, sealed containers), there will be a total of five such licenses within that particular census tract (#1834.00), the letter states.

The neighborhood already has “other establishments that offer Off-Site sales, which, based on its very nature, invites loitering, narcotics activity, and drinking in public violations,” says the letter. “Based on the above-stated facts, the Northeast Area Vice Unit strongly opposes the granting of an ABC license for this establishment. The Northeast Area Vice Unit, although supportive of local businesses, strongly believes that another ABC Off-Site licensed location in this community would not be beneficial or support the needs and health of the community as a whole.”

Developers for the proposed 7-Eleven stress that without a “Type 20” off-sale beer and wine license that they have requested, neither the store nor the commercial center planned around it would be financially viable.

The issue has become increasingly controversial lately. At Wednesday’s scheduled public hearing in City Hall, for example, three people who said they live near the planned site on Tonawanda Avenue told Patch that they oppose the presence of a 7-Eleven there.

Margaret Arnold, a board member of the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce who attended the public hearing, told Patch that the chamber officially opposed the proposed 7-Eleven last week "on the basis of not needing more chain businesses, more alcohol and traffic on side streets" along York Boulevard.

Last Thursday, the Land Use Committee of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council recommended a conditional approval of the proposed 7-Eleven as the key tenant in a $3.3-million commercial center that would be located at 4515-4527 E. York Blvd. and 1507 N. Tonawanda Ave., in the premises of the former Casa Princesa café, which doubled as a Sign-A-Rama store. The matter will be discussed and possibly voted on by the full ERNC board at its monthly meeting at Eagle Rock City Hall on Feb. 5.

Among the provisions of the ERNC Land Use Committee’s conditional approval was that beer and wine be sold only from noon through 10 p.m. and that no more than 20 percent of the profits from the proposed 7-Eleven’s gross sales be from alcohol.

The latter provision is, however, not enforceable because there’s no law that limits the amount of profit that a convenience store can make from alcohol sales, Council District 14 Area Director Zenay Loera told Patch shortly before Wednesday’s public hearing was deferred.

According to a consultant for the proposed 7-Eleven, the opposition to the store from nearby residents is a relatively recent phenomenon that he did not encounter while meeting with locals over the past six months or so.

“I’ve spoken to at least 20 people in the community who said they support the project,” the consultant, David Degan, told Patch. The shopping center planned around the 7-Eleven would create roughly 44 jobs and “inject $1.7 million per year in the local community just from the income revenue of the center’s employees,” Degan said, adding: “The key word for last year was jobs, the key word for the year before was jobs, the key word for this year is jobs—we’re taking a blighted corner of the neighborhood and investing $3 million in it.”

Degan’s contention was echoed by Peter Hilton, chairman of the ERNC Land Use Committee until last October. In a comment Tuesday about last week’s Patch article on the committee’s conditional approval of the 7-Elven project, Hilton remarked:

“This is not just about a 711, it’s about a development that brings life to an area that was vacant land property that attracted crime and graffiti.”

As the committee’s chairman, said Hilton, he “walked the area and spoke to the residents around the proposed development, and no one was against it, in fact most were for it, and not one person came to the meetings to vote or speak against it.”

At Wednesday’s scheduled public hearing in City Hall, Tom Bergerson, a retail architect for 7-Eleven, told Associate Zoning Administrator Tovar that the LAPD’s crime statistics for the area around the proposed commercial complex were based on an “empty, vacant site.”

Allowing a 7-Eleven to open on the long-neglected site would dampen crime, the architect argued. “We feel that if there’s a new business in there those crime rates would go down," he said.

Project consultant David Degan invites readers to comment about the proposed 7-Eleven and what he might be able to do to help resolve criticisms of the project. Comments can also be sent to Vanessa Soto (vanessa.soto@lacity.org) in the Department of City Planning.

Baker Montgomery January 31, 2013 at 05:06 PM
I think it important for all to note the the ERNC will be considering two issues regarding the development. First, whether or not the 7-Eleven should be allowed to stay open past the existing mini shopping mall ordinance which allows them to operate, ironically enough, from 7 am - 11 pm (the developers are requesting a deviation which would grant them the ability to stay open 24 hours). The second issue is whether or not the council supports the proposed 7-Eleven being allowed to sell beer and wine. These are the only two issues on the proposed development in front of the ERNC.
Michael Larsen January 31, 2013 at 05:19 PM
As Ajay's story points out, there is already an over-concentration of off-site liquor licenses in the area, and as a recent public health study makes clear, that is not good for our community. "A high density of alcohol outlets increases alcohol consumption, motor vehicle crashes, alcohol-related hospital admissions, injury deaths, assaults and violent crime, suicides, drinking and driving, child maltreatment, and neighborhood disturbances" LA County Dept of Health http://bit.ly/Tg0b9b I'll be out of town on Feb 5, so I won't be able to vote or make a motion on this issue at the ERNC board meeting, but I want to make it clear that I am dead set against the liquor license. I will be emailing the ZA to register my opposition, and I encourage you to do the same. vanessa.soto@lacity.org Case no. ZA 2012~3083(CUB)(CU) 1507 North Tonawanda Avenue You should also let ERNC board members how you feel about. All contact info can be found here: http://www.eaglerockcouncil.org/meet-the-council/ A 24 hour 7-11 selling liquor is not an anchor store, it's a canker sore. Let's say "no thank you".
Bob G January 31, 2013 at 05:37 PM
The Eagle Rock Association joins the LAPD and numerous other Eagle Rock stakeholder voices in opposing this development. Go to www.tera90041.org to view TERA's response to the Planning Department. It is important to understand that the owner has a "right" to proceed with the development with no further approval as long as the extended hours and beer and wine sales are not included.
Jeff January 31, 2013 at 05:54 PM
122 calls within a two block radius....great number, but what does that include? repeated calls to a residential family dispute? Barking dogs?? Separate out public drunkeness, intoxication and the use that number.
Mr. jepg January 31, 2013 at 06:08 PM
so is wezzer or larsen going to invest 3 million dollars into the community and give north of 40 people jobs? when has either of these bums done anything positive for our community.
Ruben January 31, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Another dump move for L.A.P.D They say one thing and do another stop dunking and driving and yet going give license sell alcohol to 7/11 is there enough stores the sell alcohol already! it is all about the money. and who give the of the pace of the pie. what a joke on all the community. These are your upstanding leaders in the community.
jayres January 31, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Foreclosed and blighted properties are great! Let's keep investment out of Eagle Rock because it takes away graffiti and loitering opportunities of youths in the area. No one wants a convenient store on this corner, convenience is so passe. Instead, lets hold out for a local entrepreneur who will hopefully one day rent this space out years from now, with the type of business we can all rally around but no one will actually spend money at. Who cares that redeveloping this property infuses $3 million dollars into the community, we don't want those construction jobs. Who cares that the property will have a higher reassessment to generate more property tax revenue for schools. Who cares about 44 new jobs. Who wants 7-11 collecting all that sales tax revenue to replenish the city's coffers. No, in the words of Katie O’Connell, "Think big, think better—don’t think typical." She should know, she opened a sunglass shack in front of a home on York Blvd. It doesn't have parking or handingcap access, but that's the kind of typical thinking we need to avoid when we consider what type of business we allow a private property owner to lease his space to. We don't want large national corporations with the resources to pay top rents and invest large amounts of capital, even in this down economy. So enjoy the graffiti while we still have it and keep an eye out for that Katie O’Connell level "big idea"!
Jerry Langford January 31, 2013 at 09:53 PM
I think jayres' account has been hacked by Dead Andy Rooney. Yo jayres: Have you ever been inside, or outside, a 7-11? "Loitering and graffiti" should be part of the store's name. Do you seriously think a 7-11 is going to employ 44 local people? Try a single franchisee (from somewhere else) and his or her immediate family, for a total of maybe 3. Construction jobs, if there are any, will go to Orange County, because that's where the architect's from. Read the article: like the fake jobs number, that $3 million is a fiction, thrown around by the so-called developer - he doesn't have the money to build anything, which is why he's trying to get a loan on the back of the 7-11. The building is in an enterprise zone, so there will be a plethora of tax breaks for 7-11, while sales taxes on those 24-packs of Tecate won't flow through a magic pipeline to local schools. And I can't believe you're dissing Katie O'Connell, whose "sunglass shack" was the first brave business to occupy that bombed-out stretch of York, in the middle of a recession, and is thriving today. If the ERNC wants to ignore the residents who don't want to see a 7-11 in their neighborhood, they should do it with their eyes wide open, and admit they're taking a chance on a bunch of characters from way out of town who are promising Eagle Rock the moon, with no investment and no guarantee. That's worked out so well in the past (hello DHM lofts), I'm sure it's a slam-dunk. Fire up the Slurpee machine!
Tim Ryder January 31, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Here are the crime stats for Eagle Rock for the last six months. They don't include 'public drunkeness' or 'intoxication' so I'd like to see that data posted as well. The ruse that certain businesses would bring crime into the area was often repeated by Huizar/Beck/Larsen/TERA during their 5 year Anti-pot crusade. Of course they could never produce any evidence, data or statistics to support that claim and in fact the LAPD's reports actually show crime going up after the Federal bullies came in and shut down the collectives. http://www.ccuwc.org/no-crime-around-collectives.html
Kathy January 31, 2013 at 10:04 PM
That a 7-11 is even considered by the Council shows why we have mostly dumpy businesses in Eagle Rock. They (the Council) seem to accept any slop type business that wants to open.....as long as they cough up taxes they don't care who it is.
Tim Ryder January 31, 2013 at 10:08 PM
I commend new ERNC member Baker Montgomery for reaching out to the community regarding the new 7-11 development. The open discussion will help everyone better understand the processes involved in the opening of new businesses/developments and how our Neigborhood Council participates in the conversation. One suggestion I would make is that there have to be a petition format included in any community input. Like with the MMD issue there were usually a couple loudmouths who made all the fuss but would never put their name down for verification. Mr. Hilton says he spoke with the residents around the new 7-11 development and nobody was against it. So somebody's lying and that's why a formal petition needs to be created to 'weed' out those who are 'for' or 'against' so we can get an accurate picture of community opinion.
Rob Tossberg February 01, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Look at the 7-11 on Colorado Blvd. It's always dirty, there is always some druggie panhandling and they do nothing, NOTHING to make it the least bit attractive. No to another 7-11.
Marjorie Balce February 01, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Instead of putting up another 7 Eleven, they should put in a Baja Fresh or Corner Bakery there. Those 2 places are great and the food is delicious and healthy. The prices are not expensive and it seems like it would be better place to eat. I eat at those 2 places in Pasadena often and wonder why ER does not have those types of eateries here. Some of the restaurants are expensive in ER and not many have ample parking space. What does everyone else think? Any suggestions/ideas?
Ivan J. Quiles February 01, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Mr Degan needs to get his facts together I live on Tonawanda Ave and the majority of us are opposed to the 7 Eleven. We as home owners feel it will bring more crime, to our neighborhood as for graffiti and such I feel it is the owners fault for not coming out to maintain his property. I did call the ABC in opposition to the 7 Eleven on behalf of myself and neighbors and left a voicemail with a Mrs Herrera I believe ,who was in charge of this application. I never got a return call. So Mr Degan if someone assisted in not voicing our opposition early on now you know that this opposition is not new.
Kathy February 01, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Thanks for your sane suggestion, Marjorie. I don't understand why the 'Council" seems intent on approving sloppy businesses in Eagle Rock. In the past, and currently I've suggested the Council concentrate to focus on obtaining a legit business to open here. I suppose the problem is that a brand name like Baja Fresh doesn't want to open near some of these sleezy marijuana 'clinics' and massage parlors so prevalent in Eagle Rock. The Council should be ashamed of their desire to import 7-11s and other crime magnets. Did you see the news this AM?? They didn't say which 7-11 was held up at knife point, but it was nearby as the accident happened on the 5 near the stadium.
peter hilton February 02, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Again developers come to a community to spend money and build a future for our children, but no, what do they face? a bunch of misery minded doomsayers who do not want the community to thrive. The country faces an overall 7.9% unemployment, California 9.8%, Los Angeles County 10.2%, Los Angeles around 15%, but Santa Clarita, that promotes Job Creation, Hiring Opportunities and Job Training, is at 6.2% (Bloomberg, LA Times, Daily News) but again NO, lets go the way of Spain, there unemployment is 26%, they don't care about job growth or hiring anyone, they live of the State, they thrive through handouts and yes, no one is developing anything there, but UNEMPLOYMENT? I keep hearing this rhetoric about crime, the 711 on Colorado seems to be the parking place for LAPD as does the one on Eagle Rock Bl, so how can there be crime, and the so called pan handler, please never be in his place, and have to rely on someone from this community to help you out? What compassion and community spirit we have?, what a future we desire for our children?, lets tear down all the business, and live like like hermits in our community, and "Oh Yes", we may not need the police then?, so we can lay most of them off, and save that money too?
Bob G February 02, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Many of the comments imply that should this 7-Eleven open there will be new business in Eagle Rock. The prospect of a new store replicating services provided by several other stores in close proximity does not create one shred of new business. It simply means that existing, comparable stores, will share customers with the new store, each getting a little less business and potentially, long-term, swapping one empty storefront for another.
Tim Ryder February 02, 2013 at 06:56 PM
I think you make a great point here, Marjorie. What businesses do we want in Eagle Rock and is there a neighborhood commission which will go out and actively court their investment? The problem at this time is that in the case of 7-11, a developer wants to invest in our community to the tune of 3 million dollars and make a nice corner where currently there is a vacant eyesore. There are always a few anonymous individuals, like 'Kathy' for instance, who will raise all kinds of outlandish fear-mongering nonsense, like they did with the MMDs and try to scare everybody. They distort the truth and the community is worse off because of them.
martha ramirez February 03, 2013 at 10:08 PM
YEs ROB. I say NO to another 7-11.. we have plenty of liqour stores in ER and Highland Park. And this 44 "jobs" that is BULL Shit!!! it will not creat jobs, if so only while fixing the place.As for accidents due to buying alcohol, make up your mind Micheal larsen if its not MARIJUANA its Alcolhol..in the end its WHO will make money...and yes it will create pan handlers, robberies(as it always does for ALL 7-11's)let me guess, who will own it? Not a white,hispanic or afican american, right??
Elijah H February 03, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Exactly! The pro-development crowd seem to ignore the fact that a business like 7-11 is not going to draw new people and dollars into our community. People won't drive to York just to check out our shiny, new 7-11. It draws dollars that would've been spent elsewhere within a mile radius or so. With this type of business it really is a zero-sum game, shifting blight around. That's not a way to generate long-term growth and a healthy micro-economy.
Alex White February 04, 2013 at 04:55 PM
7-11= blight. Conducting business in ER & surrounding environs since 1978; the area has always been "ugh." Except for an occasional recreational trip to Casa Bianca or Senor Fish, etc. does anyone intentionally travel here? Excluding residing, school, business, or inadvertently exiting the 134 headed to Old Pas, attraction is lacking. Not even Disneyland, Wal-Mart, MMD, or a HE massage can alter this sad fact. ER is not urban "El Paso attractive," or even crusty Echo Park, especially on Smog Days. Even White Watts Sunland-Tujunga one-ups ER when it comes to Funk. Sadly they’ve moved the Watermelon Festival to the Rose Bowl. But, they still have a thriving Scientologist Sect & Meth Heads. ER's a pit, and not a barbecue pit. Bingo! Instead of a 7-11, ER’s genius Internet business gurus can attract a culturally diverse barbecue vender. Nacho & Family's portable grill in the weed-encrusted Anti-7-11 lot, complete with Ranchera music. It'll be like Sun Valley on Saturdays & Sundays. The smoke from the numerous swarthy, BMW driving Weed Imbibers mixes with the acrid lime juice & chicken blood wafting from Gordo Pedro's hot coals; it smells just like Culiacán Rosales. Viva Sinaloa Norte. Got a name picked-- "Grillo Gabacho Pollo." The Daily Especial-- Fly-crusted, Garlic-Salmonella-Tapitio Clucker. Truthfully, just be grateful 7-11 even wants to invest in ER. Beside, ice cold Slurpee’s rock when it's 107 in the shade, and the Viller-cracking ER asphalt smells like culo perro.
Tim Ryder February 04, 2013 at 06:31 PM
I'm trying to follow your logic here and I'm getting all tangled up. Your assertion that business of comparable services should not exist in close proximity to each other because there exists a finite customer base with which to elicit spending dollars only brings to mind some interesting questions. Shall we just have one Bank, say Bank of America, to serve the 35,000 savers in Eagle Rock? How about only one Church to serve all the faithful or just one gas station or one coffee shop or one medical marijuana dispensary for that matter? And 'who' gets to decide how many of such and such business gets to set up shop here? You? TERA? Michael Larsen? a few anonymous Patch bloggers?
Bob G February 04, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Tim: Many who support the 7-Eleven solution do so within the context that it brings new business to the community. That is not the case - simply by it's presence there no new customers, no new business is generated. You and I both know that one church, one gas station, etc. could not meet the needs of the community. It is a question of balance. Is there a shortage of churches or gas stations to serve our residents today, probably not. Had there been a much smaller number of dispensaries in Eagle Rock, a number more comparable to the needs of Eagle Rockers, I don't think the community would have felt so passionately about the issue. Moderation - there is a lot to be said for it.
Elijah H February 04, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Follow this logic: If there were already 4 banks on York, barely scraping by a profit, does opening bank #5 make any sense?
Jimmy Iaei February 04, 2013 at 11:51 PM
So Casa Bianca, the whole earth type preppie eateries with no parking, and pot dispenseries are OK, but a 7-11 is bad? Hypocriscy at it's finest. The NIMBY's always want something built somewhere else so they are not affected. No McDonalds at Eagle Rock and Colorado is a victory, so they build it at Figueroa and La Loma and that's OK? Give me a 7-11 anyday over a sidewalk coffee klatch with no parking. Crime from 7-11? No crime from the tattoo parlors, bars and pot stores and the low lives that frequent them? Maybe we can hold out for a coffee shop that serves dope, vegetarian donuts, and feeds the homeless to patrons that ride only bikes and idle their time away at sidewalk tables surfing the internet. That should create hundreds of high paying jobs.
Anonymous Nimby Crank February 05, 2013 at 03:06 AM
So McDonalds and 7-11's create hundreds of high paying jobs? I missed that somewhere.
Anonymous Nimby Crank February 05, 2013 at 03:11 AM
WOW!!!!! Are you Thomas Pynchon???
Alex White February 05, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Thank you, but no, never served in the Navy. Just a loyal follower of ER's seemingly existentially twisted existence. It's an eclectic mix of opinions leading mostly nowhere. Compelling, Godot in fact, so why not? Also get a kick out of the rigid-liberal (I know-- antithetical oxymoron) stick-up-the-culo,"in-the-business," wanna-be Dweebs posting their various civic & moral laments on Studio City Patch. My take-- whomever they support as Mayor will be Mayor. ("Yuck!-- Wendy Gruella, a Viller-Raza manufactured clone.") Also enjoy visiting the "extreme elitists" haunting Malibu Patch. They have the best profile pics, and they're continually complaining about an invasion of "Outsiders." Although, they still hire them to clean their expansive homes and babysit their drug-addled brats. They also focus upon a stinky septic-system leaking raw sewage under their multi-million dollar beachfront existence; and-- "Oh my God, NO!"-- lighting on an athletic field. I also take an occasional jaunt over to "Yo Venice" to see what those $$$-landed-$$$-gentry, anti-homeless, pro-$2000 Beach Cruiser bicycle Beach-Dorks are whining about on any given day-- ad infinitum. If time permits, I'll also look up the local yokels in Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, Ohio, and parts of Northern Cali. Call it research, and it humors me. But thanks anyway. I enjoy the ANC-Ryder dialogue. But, I think he’s up a point. Seriously though, you wouldn't be channeling Eugenie Niboyet per chance?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something