Ventura County and Conditional Use Permits for On-Sale licensees (bars and restaurants)March 24, 2008 No Comments
I was able to participate in a four-day training called the Alcohol Policy 14 on January 27-30th, 2007. This Alcohol Policy conference series was intended to “explore, develop and advance public policy approaches to the prevention of alcohol problems in order to promote evidence-based strategies and to bring public focus to the need for alcohol policy reform at all levels.”
A very relevant conference session was titled: Local Powers: Reducing harms from licensed outlets. This workshop featured the City of Ventura, California’s Responsible Retailer Program and “the innovative partnership among local law enforcement, prevention professionals, State Alcohol Beverage Control, civic leaders, retailers and residents that has dramatically altered the environment for alcohol sales in the last two years.” This program has been done in collaboration with the County of Ventura and they have graciously provided a website to offer all their materials in the hope that other communities would want to model their programs. Click here to view the Ventura County Limits website.
This program is essentially operated by a single sworn ABC/Police Officer. That is, this person is working for both the California Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) as well as the San Diego City Police. The officer that made a presentation at this conference said he was responsible for about 300 on-sale licensees. He actually worked with potential licensees to come to an agreement on what their terms would be to be able to get a license. He said he had a quiver of approximately 300 rules that he could use to customize the licensee’s application. He then coordinated undercover and any enforcement actions.
Funds used to run the program were basically a fee that all licensees would pay into an annual account. This money would then fund the entire operation. This CUP program would be for all new licensees as well as existing licensees through a Deemed Approved Ordinance.
I am working with Scott Chipman from SavePB.org to present this program to the Beach Alcohol Task Force – Implementation Panel for their serious consideration to enact a similar program here in Pacific Beach. This may require a full City Council ordinance or, we may be able to get the beach communities approved as a trial area for the program.
Click here to learn more about the CUP program elements.CUP/DAO