Does the Coastside need another store (gas station) selling liquor?


Posted by on Mon, July 19, 2010

The Midcoast Community Council has been asked by County Counsels office to comment on an application to sell liquor by a local gas station that already sells beer and wine   We are seeking community input.. 

A special certificate, called “A Certificate of Public Convenience or Necessity” is required because the number of liquor licenses in the area exceeds the number allowed by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

I am welcoming community comments on the subject.  Please email to [email protected]  The item will be on the agenda at the July 28th meeting

If the gas station already sells beer and wine who cares if they sell liquor?  I would be concerned if the gas station was selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors.  Does anyone know if that has been a problem? 

I hope the MCC will find bigger fish to fry at future Special Meetings!

Agenda for Special Meeting  
July 21, 2010   7:00 p.m.

1. How to best get community feedback on items like the Moss Beach Liquor License, new cell towers etc.

2.  Proposed Liquor License in Moss Beach.  Possible Draft Letter

Sponsor:  Deborah Lardie

3. Website
a.  MCC minutes/ Agenda
b.  Meetings online ?
c.  Hot topics page
d.  Issue pages

Sponsor:  Len Erickson

4. Meeting Process
a.  Arrival on time for live TV
b.  Time limits
c.  Appropriate remarks

Sponser:  Neil Merrilees

Does anyone have any data either way on this?

A quick google turns up a few studies, all which point to an increased use of alcohol with an increase in license density (along with an increase in violent crime and accidents). However, many of the studies I found were from think tanks, advocacy groups, or were narrow in scope.

But surely this is not a novel issue. What does that data say?


I don’t have a strong opinion on this. But, let’s face it, convenience stores don’t typically sell hard liquor to casual alcohol users. This is about catering to serious drinkers. How typical is it for *gas stations* to sell hard liquor? I don’t know the answer to that.

At the same time, there are currently only two locations in Montara and Moss Beach that sell packaged liquor right now.

The county counsel’s letter and attached application provided too little information for MCC to make any kind of informed decision. What the pertinent regulations and metrics are in a case like this? The county’s not talking. At least, not unless the MCC asks the questions.

Also, why is the “Type of Business” listed on the application as “Liquor Store”?

What’s the difference between a convenience store that sells gas and liquor and a gas station that sells gas and liquor? Why should the convenience store have an advantage? I’ll bet the people that live on the ocean side of the neighborhood would appreciate not have to cross the highway to buy a little booze.

Is the concern over liquor being sold at a gas station or because it exceeds the number of licenses allowed by ABC?

On the one hand, I believe that a person with a drinking problem will manage to get drunk with whatever is available (an alcoholic who drinks only wine is still an alcoholic, and .08 is .08 regardless of what you’ve been drinking).

On the other hand, I don’t really think we need another liquor store. 

Full disclosure: I live in Pescadero, so my opinions are mostly hypothetical. However, it doesn’t bother me that Duarte’s sells liquor, and it wouldn’t bother me if the gas station applied for a liquor license.