Proposed Plan to Regulate Alcohol Retailers in Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles, and Koreatown

Jay Yim, Nov. 13, 2019, 5:48 p.m.

Recently, a special interest group plead with a coalition of Los Angeles neighborhood coucils in order to regulate alcohol retailers.

The Drug and Alcohol Policy Alliance (DAPA) is a nonprofit that fights against the alcohol industry's harmful practices, and they proposed a plan that would essentially allow communities to consider the banning of new liquor licenses in areas that already have a strong presence of alcohol.

Furthermore, the proposed plan would give communities and their representatives the authority to identify neighboorhood council districts that are at risk. Currrently, according to the DAPA community liason, Socorro Chacon, Boyle Heights, South Los Angeles, and Koreatown are the three communities with the highest presence of alcohol outlets.

Chacon claimed that these communities are experiencing constant threats "to their well-being and their families'" as well.

DAPA presented the Alcohol Restricted Use Subdistrict (ARUS) plan to the South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighboorhood Councils, which consists of about 14 councils. This was done in hopes to restrict alcohol retailers from bringing more negative impacts on their respective neighborhoods and residents.

Under this proposed plan, communities with a strong presence of alcohol outlets would be required to have an ARUS designation placed on the area. Once granted, by either the neighborhood council or another local body, no new alcohol license would be permitted in that area.

Chacon advised that with a method like this, residents can "exercise their right to make their neighborhoods a great place to live." She added that Los Angeles can be made a more vibrant city again by these "direct ways in which residents can influence how land is used in their neighborhoods."

The council advised the DAPA to take the request to individual neighborhood councils, which then can consider giving a support letter and ask the city's Planning and Land Use Management Committee to consider the issue.

The city of Los Angeles was ranked "high" for alcohol retailers such as bars, pubs, and restaurants in 2013.

On the other hand, pro-business groups argue that more shops selling alcohol may help keep costs down for consumers. In addition, many of the businesses in question are mom-and-pop shops that employ the local residents and even pay taxes and contribute other benefits to the local economy.

A member of the Los Angeles DAPA, Jorge Castillo, said during an interview alcohol has a strong correlation with crime. He added that the number one factor behind hun violence is alcohol and 60 percent of all alcohol-related violence happen within the family.

“[We are] dealing with…corporations who are finding any way to sell alcohol and make profits but we are fighting back,” Castillo claimed.

If you are interested in learning more about the plan or DAPA, you can visit or follow the group's Instagram and Twitter handle, @LosAngelesDapa.

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