City Council Upholds Denial of Neighborhood Market’s Request for Permit Allow Sales of Full Line of Alcoholic Beverages
The City Council has upheld the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) that disapproved the application of Linda Rosa Market for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to be able to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages.
In its meeting Monday, members of the council voted unanimously to approve a city staff recommendation to uphold the BZA’s earlier decision.
The 3,782 square foot grocery store is located at 1827 East Villa Street, near Allen Avenue.
Currently, the grocery store, which is located at 1827 E Villa St, Pasadena, sells beer and wine, pursuant to a CUP approved in June 2004, which allows it to sell a limited line of alcohol on-site.
Earlier this year, the owner of Linda Rosa Market Sukhraj Kau requested that the city allow an upgrade for the market from limited to full alcohol sales for off-site consumption.
The Hearing Officer disapproved the CUP application in February 2021. The decision was upheld by the BZA last May after it determined that all six required findings for the CUP could not be made, including the finding for Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN).
In June, the applicant filed an appeal against the decision before the council, arguing the BZA erred in making the decision.
The applicant contended that approving the application will provide convenience to its customers and will allow for competitive pricing.
The applicant also noted the store has operated for over 30 years with beer and wine and the community members never protested against the sale of alcoholic beverages.
In urging the city to uphold the BZA’s decision, the city staff said the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption would negatively impact the general welfare of the surrounding property owners, and would result in an undesirable concentration of premises that sell alcohol in the vicinity.
The staff noted that there is an existing over concentration of off-site alcohol licenses in the area.
The California Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control allows a maximum of three off-site sales licenses in a census tract. Currently, there are already four off-site licenses near the site: M & S Liquor, Fair Market, Mobil Gas Station, and Linda Rosa Market.
The city staff also said the CUP would aggravate existing alcohol-related problems within the area.
“Clearly, there is an overconcentration of use, not because I say it but because the empirical data supports it,” Councilmember John Kennedy said during the meeting.
“The good thing about what staff is recommending today, it does not in any way negatively impact this business from being successful,” he added.