West Hollywood moves forward with support for extended liquor sales hours

The Abbey Food and Bar – West Hollywood Nightlife

The West Hollywood City Council voted to approve Agenda Item 2.CC by passing a resolution in favor of SB 930 (Wiener), allowing the city to participate in the extended hours of the pilot program of sale of alcohol referenced in the bill. The motion passed 3-2 with Mayor Lauren Meister and Pro-Tem Mayor Sepi Shyne voting no on the point.

The item was removed from the consent schedule by Pro Tem Shyne for further discussion, which took place towards the end of a lengthy meeting that took place around 2am this morning.

Community members raised concerns about the pilot program, which was vetoed in 2018. They had concerns about loud noise, drunk driving later and the need to reinforce policing where some community members already feel that public safety is an issue in the city. of West Hollywood.

Mayor Pro Tem Shyne said she’s heard a lot of opposition to the extended liquor sales hours from community members, mostly because of the noise. She pointed out that unlike other cities, West Hollywood’s nightlife is very close to residential areas and could potentially cause problems for residents seeking peace and quiet during those hours.

Mayor Miester opposed the pilot program in 2018 and said he would do it again for the reasons expressed at the meeting.

WeHo resident Jordan Cookaram spoke in favor of the article, saying the extended hours would lead to more sales for businesses and tax revenue for the city. He said extended hours would allow customers to leave bars and restaurants at different times instead of all at once, which can cause traffic jams and increase the risk of emergencies. Everyone leaving at the same time at 2 a.m. also has an impact on taxi and ride-sharing services, which can be unavailable and more expensive during peak hours, deterring people from using the services and risking driving. blind drunk.

According to a city staff report, participation in the pilot program will provide the city with considerable local discretion to design a local extended hours program that best meets West Hollywood’s needs. These local features include limiting extended hour permits to certain areas of the city, as well as designating a specific body such as the Business Licensing Commission to conduct public hearings for the purpose of issuing hour permits. extended, and more.

On June 2, 2022, Senator Scott Wiener amended SB 930, which he originally introduced on February 7, 2002, to address housing issues in the state. As amended on June 2, SB 930:

  1. Effective January 1, 2025 and before January 2, 2030, require the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to conduct a pilot program that would authorize the department to issue an extended hours license to a sales licensee located in a qualifying city that would permit, with or without conditions, the sale, gift, or purchase of liquor on licensed premises between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., after meeting the requirements specified by the qualifying city in which the permit holder is located.
  2. Impose specific fees related to the license to be deposited in the ABC Fund.
  3. Require the applicant to notify specified persons of the extended hours license application and would provide a protest and hearing procedure regarding the
    application.
  4. Require the California Highway Patrol Department and each qualifying city that
    has elected to participate in the program to submit reports to the Legislative Assembly and specified committees regarding the regional impact of extended hours licensing, as specified.
  5. To provide that any person under the age of 21 who enters and remains on the approved public premises during the additional hour of service without carrying on lawful business there is guilty of a misdemeanor, as provided.
  6. The pilot program would apply to the cities of Cathedral City, Coachella, Fresno, Oakland, Palm Springs and West Hollywood, as well as the city and county of San Francisco.
    As amended on June 2, 2022, SB 930 provides broad discretion to “qualified” cities referenced in the bill. Section 1 above refers to “once specified requirements have been met by the qualified city in which the licensee is located”. This means that each eligible city, including West Hollywood, will be able to design a local extended hours program in which the city can establish guidelines, define specific areas in which establishments could operate extended hours for the sale of alcohol, developing an application and review process, etc. As the bill defers to the cities to decide how to shape the extended hours schedule, West Hollywood could establish a schedule with its own requirements, such as it could choose to limit the hours to 3 a.m. instead of 4. morning hours or extend hours only on certain days of the week such as Pride or Halloween.

Council member John D’Amico said he supported the article before and moved a motion to support the effort and asked staff to help lobby to get the article passed. Council Member John Erickson seconded the motion.

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