Earlier this week, the Echo Park neighborhood council voted in favor of allowing a proposed 7-Eleven store Glendale Boulevard and Berkeley Avenue to sell beer and wine. Allowing a nearly around-the-clock outlet for alcohol sales had drawn opposition from neighbors concerned that the store located in a mini mall would generate more traffic on narrow Berkeley Avenue and attract more homeless as well. In fact, the neighborhood council’s planning committee considered the proposal at six meetings before punting the matter without a recommendation to the Governing Board of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council. On Tuesday night, the governing board supported the 7-Eleven beer and wine permit application but also imposed certain conditions, including limiting beer and wine sales to between 10 a.m. and and midnight, said council president Jose Sigala. Single beer can sales are also prohibited and the store also agreed to a plastic shopping bag ban.
Despite the conditions, Cindy Larimore, who lives near the proposed 7-Eleven, remains opposed to the alcohol permit and has gathered a petition with 105 signatures to back her up. But she concedes that she faces an uphill battle.
In a letter to the neighborhood council, Larimore said:
You may be able to mitigate the issues at hand, but you will never negate them completely, and you have to ask yourself why you’d be willing to do that to a community that is already not in the best shape? And what happens once they move in an renege on their promises as so many other businesses have? Have you ever seen a 7-11 close down or move? Because I surely haven’t, so if you approve this you are permanently and irreparably damaging this community.
There are so many small businesses popping up that will not bring in a bad element to our community. This area is finally becoming a little nicer and a little safer and a little better, and all the people in the area will benefit from that. Why would you allow us to weave a beautiful tapestry only to throw a giant ink stain in the middle of it?
Larimore said she is sending a copy of the petition to Councilman Eric Garcetti in hopes that he will oppose the liquor license. However, Larimore notes that Garcetti has remained neutral on the matter. Earlier this month, Garcetti came out in against granting a beer and wine permit to Fix Coffee in Elysian Heights.
On Thursday, Council District 13 spokeswoman Julie Wong said the office remains neutral on the beer and wine application.
The neighborhood council is an advisory body, so it’s decisions are not binding. 7-Eleven’s request to sell beer and wine must still be reviewed and approved by city and stage agencies.