Liquor License Showdown on Milpas Street

Activist Argues Santa Barbara's Eastside Saturated with Alcohol-Selling Establishments

Anthony Wagner | Credit: Paul Wellman (file) | Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

An administrative judge with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will decide whether CVS on the 300 block of North Milpas Street will be allowed to sell hard liquor as well as beer and wine. Appealing the permit application is Natasha Todorovic, a Milpas Street neighborhood activist who lives adjacent to CVS. She argued that the liquor license would generate more calls for police service in a neighborhood already saturated with establishments selling alcohol.

Anthony Wagner, community liaison officer with the Santa Barbara Police Department stated that ABC administrators have rebuffed the city’s efforts to curtail liquor sales and was skeptical that Todorovic’s appeal would prevail. He proposed putting conditions on CVS’s application, including forbidding the sale of single cans or bottles of beer or malt liquor; only six-packs could be sold. CVS has agreed to sell only larger bottles of hard liquor.

Wagner believes the cost of the larger bottles and six-packs will prove prohibitive to “public inebriates.” The decision on the appeal should be issued in the next seven to ten days.


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