Does your jurisdiction have a Trader Joe’s exemption?

Trader Joe's coming soon bannerTrade Joe’s is so popular that laws are drafted to accommodate them while keeping out competitors, and communities swoon to receive them while staunchly opposing other businesses selling the same types of goods.  Continue reading

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Same but Different: The two laws even city planning staff confuse.

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In a recent process, I represented a client in a matter in which the issue was whether the client’s use was grandfathered under the old municipal zoning code or whether more recent amendments applied to it.  Interestingly, municipal staff raised the granting of another alcoholic beverage license in the same census tract as a reason for why my client’s use might not qualify for grandfathering under the zoning.
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How to Start a Bar or Pub Without Becoming a Restaurant.

Bars - to have food or notMany entrepeneurs intent on opening a bar, nightclub, pub, cocktail lounge, live entertainment, or similar business  in California, which will include the availability of wine, beer, or spirits, are surprised to learn that their business plan is simply not allowed.  It may be particularly confusing for them because they may see other businesses in the area that engage, or seemingly engage, in just such a business.   They are told by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) or local authorities that their only option is to become a full service restaurant, with a full service kitchen, and which sells regular meals (not just sandwiches, salads, and “victuals”).  With so many other businesses seemingly selling alcoholic beverages without being restaurants, how can this be? Continue reading

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What does it mean to be ‘grandfathered’?

 

wpid-rps20141121_124028_777.jpgOne of the terms often used when it comes to land uses is “grandfathered.”  Generally speaking, the term refers to something  that would now be forbidden or illegal as a new use or activity but is allowed because the use, structure, or activity was instituted before it became illegal.  Accordingly, it is essentially a legal concept. However,
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Starting a Craft Brewery – The Regulatory Process, Part 2

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Part 1 of this series discussed the State licensing process for establishing a brewery.  However, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) will not issue a license until the applicant can show municipal or County zoning allows a brewery at the chosen location. Continue reading

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Starting a Craft Brewery – The Regulatory Process, Part 1

Huge craft beer selection at Krisp in downtown San DiegoMaking beer in California is regulated by local, state, and federal government agencies. This first of a series of articles examines the state licenses applicable to making and selling beers. The key word here is “making” since there are several additional licenses for persons who simply want to sell beer (or other alcoholic beverages) such as those applicable to restaurants, bars, or distributors.  Additionally,
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What is Deemed Approved?

deemed approvedA number of California cities and counties are adopting “deemed approved” ordinances.  These ordinances target existing grocery stores, liquor stores, and specialty stores, which sell alcoholic beverages to take home (or elsewhere).

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