Dealing with Establishments That Sell Gasoline and Alcohol Concurrently

March 1992 – Reviewed and deemed relevant March 2012 – Community Concerns and Health

Since 1987, establishments that concurrently sell gasoline and alcohol fall under local regulations. The State enacted this legislation to ensure that local government should not be preempted in the valid exercise of its land use authority (Section 23790.5 of the Business and Professions Code). Such establishments could include bars, restaurants, liquor stores, supermarkets, and gasoline mini-marts.

The State did define conditions (Section 23790.5 of the Business and Professions Code) that must be met by the establishments engaging in the concurrent sale of motor vehicle fuel with beer and wine for off-premises consumption:

  • No beer or wine shall be displayed within five feet of the cash register or the front door unless it is in a permanently affixed cooler.
  • No advertisement of alcoholic beverages shall be displayed at motor fuel islands.
  • No sale of alcoholic beverages shall be made from a drive-in window.
  • No display or sale of beer or wine shall be made from an ice tub.
  • No beer or wine advertising shall be located on motor fuel islands and no self-illuminated advertising for beer or wine shall be located on buildings or windows.
  • Employees on duty between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. who sell beer or wine shall be at least 21 years of age.

Cities, however, can zone specific areas where liquor can be sold, keeping it out of residential and school areas.

PTAs may find that some of these establishments are being placed in locations too close to residential and school areas or that these establishments are not following conditions mandated by the State or laws established by the local government. Dependent upon the situation, the local unit, council or district PTA must be prepared with accurate data prior to confronting local government with their complaints.

Do Research:

  • Contact members of the Board of Supervisors and City Council (or the Planning Department staff) regarding their policies and/or ordinances regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages at establishments that sell gasoline and the licensing fees paid by such establishments.
  • Check with police, sheriff’s and California highway patrol departments to determine number of teenage deaths and injuries in your community which are related to alcohol and driving.
  • Contact your local government offices regarding their local zoning for off-sale alcoholic beverages.
  • Contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) in your area about the location of a particular establishment and its proximity to schools or homes.

Share information and express concern with:

  • Hours of operations;
  • Noise and litter control;
  • Lighting and exterior signs;
  • Architectural design review;
  • Adequate and functional ingress/egress (entrance/exit) and parking for automobiles;
  • Appropriate set-backs from front, rear and side lot lines;
  • Landscaping;
  • Relations to housing, schools, churches;
  • Proliferation and undue concentration of similar outlets in the area;
  • Substantial change in mode or character of operation.

Attend public hearings before Planning Commission, City Council and/or Board of Supervisors in your community and express PTA concerns on limiting development projects that would allow sale of alcoholic beverages at establishments that also sell gasoline, even though it will bring extra revenues by license fees.

Support local legislation on these issues.

Refer to the California State PTA resolution “Regulation of Liquor Licenses Near Schools,” May 1997 for further information.

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