Local Authorities Selling Alcoholic Beverages Regulation

Issues relating to the zoning and permitting of establishments that sell alcoholic beverages have long been considered particularly susceptible to regulation by state and local authorities. (E.g., Korean American Legal Advocacy Foundation v. City of Los Angeles (1994) 23 Cal. App. 4th 376, 388 28 Cal. Rptr. 2d 530 purpose of city's ordinance is to abate nuisance activities; see Town of Los Gatos v. State Bd. of Equal. (1956) 141 Cal. App. 2d 344 296 P.2d 909 town brought mandamus action to forbid transfer of on-sale license after location was rezoned for single family residences.) Decisions regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages are subject to state as well as local control. Local agencies may regulate zoning and land use activities in general (Korean American Legal Advocacy Foundation v. City of Los Angeles, supra, at pp. 392-393) and in particular the location of establishments that sell alcohol. (Floresta, Inc. v. City Council (1961) 190 Cal. App. 2d 599, 605 12 Cal. Rptr. 182; Jon-Mar Co. v. City of Anaheim (1962) 201 Cal. App. 2d 832, 837-839 20 Cal. Rptr. 350.) "The social impact of a . . . bar obviously differs fundamentally from that of a store that sells liquor for consumption off the premises." (Floresta, Inc. v. City Council, supra, at p. 606.) "The customers attracted to a neighborhood shopping center, including those who may use the services of restaurants or coffee shops located therein, ordinarily are not attracted thereto by the business of a beer parlor. Whether, by appropriate zoning regulation, a beer parlor type of business should be excluded from an area designed to cater to prospective customers of ordinary neighborhood retail sales stores, at least, is a matter about which reasonable persons may differ and, under such circumstances, a decision in favor of exclusion may not be deemed unreasonable or arbitrary. Where the reasonableness of a zoning classification 'is fairly debatable, the legislative determination will not be disturbed' by the courts." (Jon-Mar Co. v. City of Anaheim, supra, 201 Cal. App. 2d at p. 839; see also Amusing Sandwich, Inc. v. City of Palm Springs (1985) 165 Cal. App. 3d 1116 211 Cal. Rptr. 911.) While the context of the discussion in Jon-Mar was legislative rather than adjudicative, the same rule applies to the instant situation. the determination of a city council or zoning agency is entitled to be sustained if there is any substantial evidence to support it.