Ever wonder how that local restaurant came to be serving margaritas on the outdoor patio? Community members
joined representatives from Alcohol Beverage Control, the Department of Planning and Land Use, Lemon Grove
Sheriff's Office, Spring Valley Planning Group and staff from the East County Community Change Project to learn just
that, and more. Six guest speakers provided information regarding the processes for new and transferred alcohol
license applications. Alejandro Orozco, SVCA President, acted as the moderator for the meeting held at Anna's
Family Restaurant in Lemon Grove on Thursday, April 30th. Attendees also participated in a roundtable discussion
on the challenges for residents to weigh-in on incoming licenses, submission of feedback through protest documents,
and common conditions that can be placed on licenses to allow for a win-win relationship between business and
Eighteen Spring Valley and Lemon Grove residents, including members of the Planning Groups and the Spring Valley
Citizen's Association received helpful information from the speakers. Jennifer Hill and Melissa Beach from Alcohol
Beverage Control explained the required steps necessary for submitting an application to provide service or sales of
alcohol. They also reviewed the posting requirements at the business site, and passed around the poster that is
placed in business windows to alert the public to the 30-day time window to submit the necessary protest form if
they would like to see any unique conditions placed on the license. These might include conditions such as restricting
alcohol consumption to indoor service only or possible hours of alcohol service.
Next, Don Kraft, from the Department of Planning and Land Use, gave an overview of DPLU's involvement in the
ABC process. Don explained there is a thorough investigation per the application packet. They also alert the local
sheriff's office, the local planning group and the Alcohol & Drug Services Agency of County Health & Human Services,
of the new application, requesting recommendations or concerns on the proposed
Once the information is received by the Lemon Grove Sheriff's Office, Mary Porath, Crime Analyst explained, Sheriff's
representatives visit the site and review the crime data around the proposed license location. Since the license is
approved for the location, and not the business owner, this information is crucial for determining issues that may
have an effect on long term neighborhood quality of life.
Also, to inform community members and assist with possible resident feedback on a license, the Planning Group
must review the license application and secure a vote as to recommend or not, the proposed alcohol business.
Marilyn Wilkinson, from the Spring Valley Planning Group, underlined the need for better community control over
new and existing licenses, since currently the Planning Group decision to recommend or not is on an advisory basis
Joe Eberstein then walked attendees through an ABC Presentation displaying the Alcohol Beverage Control website,
location for finding new and transferred license postings, and the ABC Protest Form.
Attendees came away from the workshop saying, "The workshop was very informative and the materials handed out
made it easier to navigate the ABC website". For more information visit the California Department of Beverage
Control at www.abc.ca.gov or contact Joe Eberstein at 619-938-2932 (East County Community Change Project).