Since July, 2020, CEDS has been helping residents of the Fresno, California Copper River community with concerns about the proliferation of proposed convenience stores selling carry-out alcoholic beverages. We assisted the residents in forming the Fresno Healthy Neighborhoods Alliance. Early on we worked with areas residents who had a medical background in researching the effects of liquor stores on crime and health. The result of this research was the following compilation of studies: https://ceds.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Crime-Alcohol-Studies.pdf
After discussion their concerns with the Fresno City Council, our clients learned that consideration was being given to a Responsible Neighborhood Market Act which would guide new liquor stores to locations where impacts would be lessened.
On October 15th, the Fresno City Council passed the Responsible Neighborhood Market Act by a 6-1 vote.
This victory was made possible by the hundreds of Fresno esidents who signed the petition and those who wrote Councilmembers or testified.
We believe the new law will halt the proliferation of liquor stores in Fresno. This may also stymie efforts to saturate the same area with new gas stations. Both results preserve public health and safety.
Here is a link to a video of the City Council meeting which features some powerful speeches from residents. It is worth watching: http://fresno.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=890 (introductory remarks begin around 51:00, public comments begin around 1:08)
Unfortunately, one of the development companies seeking to add liquor stores and gas stations to the area has proven to be very persistent. While Alliance members certainly deserve a victory lap it would be foolish to think they’ve won the war. The Alliance has now set the goal of convincing the City to restrict vacant commercial properties for uses that preserve and even enhance the quality of life that attracted folks to Fresno.
For further information visit the CEDS Crime & Alcohol Outlets webpage.