Category Archives: Uncategorized

Does your jurisdiction have a Trader Joe’s exemption?

Trade 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. 

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

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 … Continue reading

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How to Start a Bar or Pub Without Becoming a Restaurant.

Many 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. … Continue reading

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What does it mean to be ‘grandfathered’?

  One 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 … Continue reading

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Starting a Craft Brewery – The Regulatory Process, Part 2

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 … Continue reading

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Starting a Craft Brewery – The Regulatory Process, Part 1

Making 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 … Continue reading

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What is Deemed Approved?

A 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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No Fault License Revocation

Perhaps the most insidious way in which a restaurant, bar, or other business with an alcoholic beverage can get its license revoked is when an employee sells illegal drugs.  

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The Triple Threat of Applying for the Right to Sell Alcoholic Beverages

The permitting process for any business, but especially those selling alcoholic beverages, can be extremely confusing, expensive, time consuming, different in each locality, and often makes little sense.  

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Case Study: How a Bad Regulation is Passed

On August 28, 2013, the Mayor and City Council of the City of El Cajon passed a new alcoholic beverage ordinance.  The room was packed.  The various non-profit groups that have popped up with alcohol and tobacco tax funding made … Continue reading

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