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La Cañada wants to end liquor sales after midnight

November 20, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com

La Cañada Flintridge is expected to move forward with an ordinance that will prohibit stores in the city from selling alcohol past midnight.

The city chose to study the issue after receiving complaints from residents who claimed that stores that stay open late attract customers who are noisy and loiter around businesses.

The ordinance would not affect restaurants. Currently, only one store sells alcohol past midnight, the 24-hour 7-Eleven Liquor on Foothill Boulevard near Alta Canyada Road.

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Councilman Donald Voss said he didn’t think the issue deserved an ordinance.

“For me, this proposed ordinance continues to be a solution in search of a problem,” he said during Monday’s City Council meeting.

A staff report showed that seven alcohol-related incidents occurred in the city after midnight over the past two years. A couple of reported incidents involving driving under the influence occurred near the 7-Eleven Liquor store, according to information provided by the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Voss said he didn’t believe the data revealed a problem.

“I think we’ve heard three arguments to support the ordinance; one was this idea that there might be some sort of time and place correlation between crime and off-sale liquor in this one store between 12 [a.m.] and 2 [a.m.],” he said. “The data we’ve seen shows that there is no correlation whatsoever. And this data is over a two-year period.”

Mayor Laura Olhasso disagreed, pointing out the driving-under-the-influence reports that occurred near the store.

“I read the statistics,” she said. “I’m not sure I agree that it’s not a problem.”

Olhasso added that she would like to address the issue of liquor store sales before it becomes a problem.

“I am OK with not providing an opportunity for either our residents or anybody else who lives around or happens to be visiting not to be able to buy alcohol after midnight,” she said.

Olhasso, Councilman Dave Spence, and Councilman Michael Davitt voted in favor of the ordinance. Jon Curtis was not present at the Monday night meeting.

Council members will vote to approve the ordinance during a second reading at a future meeting.

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Follow Tiffany Kelly on Google+ and on Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly.

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