Echo Park resident tries one more time to block 7-Eleven alcohol permit

Earlier this week, the Echo Park neighborhood council voted in favor of allowing a proposed  7-Eleven store  Glendale Boulevard and Berkeley Avenue to sell beer and wine.  Allowing a nearly around-the-clock outlet for alcohol sales  had drawn opposition from neighbors concerned that the store located in a mini mall would generate more traffic on narrow Berkeley Avenue and attract more homeless as well. In fact, the neighborhood council’s planning committee considered the proposal at six meetings before punting the matter without a recommendation to the Governing Board of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council.  On Tuesday night, the governing board supported the 7-Eleven beer and wine permit application but also imposed certain conditions, including limiting beer and wine sales to between 10 a.m. and and midnight, said council president Jose Sigala.  Single beer can sales are also prohibited and the store also agreed to a plastic shopping bag ban.

Despite the conditions, Cindy Larimore, who lives near the proposed 7-Eleven, remains opposed to the alcohol permit and has gathered a petition with 105 signatures to back her up. But she concedes that she faces an uphill battle.

In a letter to the neighborhood council, Larimore said:

You may be able to mitigate the issues at hand, but you will never negate them completely, and you have to ask yourself why you’d be willing to do that to a community that is already not in the best shape? And what happens once they move in an renege on their promises as so many other businesses have? Have you ever seen a 7-11 close down or move? Because I surely haven’t, so if you approve this you are permanently and irreparably damaging this community.

There are so many small businesses popping up that will not bring in a bad element to our community. This area is finally becoming a little nicer and a little safer and a little better, and all the people in the area will benefit from that. Why would you allow us to weave a beautiful tapestry only to throw a giant ink stain in the middle of it?

Larimore said she is sending a copy of the petition to Councilman Eric Garcetti in hopes that he will oppose the liquor license.  However, Larimore notes that Garcetti has remained neutral on the matter. Earlier this month, Garcetti came out in against  granting a beer and wine permit to Fix Coffee in Elysian Heights.

On Thursday, Council District 13 spokeswoman Julie Wong said the office remains neutral on the beer and wine application.

The neighborhood council is an advisory body, so it’s decisions are not binding. 7-Eleven’s request to sell beer and wine must still be reviewed and approved by city and stage agencies.


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  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I would also like to add that the Chamber of Commerce and the Police are against giving 7 Eleven the permit. So we might still have a chance!

  2. Cindy — I’ll be posting your note to me shortly on our site too. Thanks for being so active in the community. AR

  3. Tired of these teetotalling fascists. The community will stop them. Send them back to Iran…this is America.

  4. Neighborhood council? Why bother?!?! Wasn’t that group voted ” Best Comedy Act”? Stay away from that group, Cindy…..stay away.

  5. Thanks Anthea! I really appreciate it!

    Troy – I’m definitely not happy with the way they voted this, and if you had been there you would have seen how the pleas from the community fell on deaf ears while they all told us that ‘change is good, there won’t be homeless at a 7 Eleven, this is good for the community’ and other ridiculous lies. It was shameful to be honest.

  6. If it will be anything like the other 7-11 in Echo Park on Rosemont and Sunset, the cops will always be there getting their coffee or snacks.

  7. It’s already quite a challenge to park in that mini mall. How is that going to work with a 7-Eleven?

    Also, Berkeley is a bit of a choke point for many people in the neighborhood in terms of access to points north (Silver Lake, the 2 freeway) and south (Alvarado, the 101 freeway). It’s a very narrow street as it is, often clogged with cars waiting for the light to change at the six-pointed intersection. (Hey, maybe this area should be called “Six Points”?) Cars exiting (or trying to enter) the mini mall already make a tight situation worse, and it’s hard to imagine what the increased traffic of a 7-Eleven would bring.

  8. EP4ME – that may be true, but even with the cops there you still see homeless people asking for change and hanging out there day and night. That’s not okay when it’s on a street with a large amount of children, which is the case with Berkeley Ave. Also, the cops still can’t make the traffic/parking situation any better with their presense, nor does that make this store any more beneficial to our neighborhood. We still just don’t need it nor any of the crime/traffic/accidents/noise/alcohol it will certainly bring.

  9. Your Friend, Your Neighbor, You

    Why are you all so against homeless men and women? Just because they do not have a roof over their head does not mean that they are bad or dangerous. I would really hope that you dig deep before offering a response.

  10. Cindy is your petition online. I’d like to sign.

    No one has anything against the homeless, friend. Just giving them another corporate run beer outlet.

  11. The petition is worthless and domed to failure. I am opposed to these busybodies who are constantly trying ro make decisions for everyone else. It truly is terrifying and frankly, a pain in the ass. Why not devote this obsessive energy to helping the homeless instead of just demonizing.

  12. I happen to actually be friends with one of the homeless women from this area and she can tell you that the vast majority of the homeless around here are drug addicts and ex criminals (one man recently told my father he spent 15 years in jail for attempting to beat his girlfriend to death).

    I’m not against homeless people per se, but drug addicts and drunks? Definitely. And I’ve had to call the police more than once when some of these people have decided to use my front yard and their sleeping area, bathroom, and garbage can. They even arrested one man who refused to pick up the garbage I watched him throw in my yard because he kept saying it wasn’t his.

    So no, not all of those men and women are bad, and I quite like Christina, the homeless woman I know who lives in her car around the corner, but there are others around here that are scary, and regardless of their actual harm, I am not okay with them urinating on the wall across the street from my house, especially when I live next door to three children under the age of 18 (two of which are girls) and there are at least another 5 on the block who could potentially see this going on. Is that something you’d be okay with if this was your neighborhood? Because I’m sorry if it makes me the bad guy, but I’m NOT okay with that.

    The petition is not online but you can email me at clarimore@gmail.com and I can give you some information on how to get involved.

    Big man – you know what’s terrifying? Having corporations overrun your neighborhood and doom it to always being a bad place to live just when it’s starting to be safe. I have lived here for a few years now, and it’s just now getting safe enough to walk around at night, and I want to keep it that way. If you don’t like it, start a petition of your own.

  13. Cindy, I am against any chain business opening up in L.A., and thank you for doing to work to oppose this. But you’d do better to rephrase your comments on homeless people. You are painting them as child molesters and criminals with your latest comments. I agree with the basic idea that 7-11 needs to be kept out, but you are sounding like an uppity and fear-mongering snob with your “homeless” comments. Right down to “think about the children.” Sheesh!

    “even with the cops there you still see homeless people asking for change and hanging out there day and night. That’s not okay when it’s on a street with a large amount of children”

    I’m sorry, but it is “okay.” Should people only be allowed to “hang out” and “ask for change” (the horror!) in areas where there are no children (or Cindy Larimores) around?

    The homeless are there, and we have to deal with them like people, not push them away from us to other parts of town simply because they make us uncomfortable. Keep up the fight, but take the homeless bashing down a notch.

    I am sure you will reply that you don’t hate the homeless, etc., etc., and I really don’t think you do. But the political world operates on sound bites, so you’d do better to find a way not to sound so prudish to those who are only willing to give you 15 seconds of their attention. If you have to explain that you “really didn’t mean it like that” after the fact, then you can surely find a way to say it better in the first place.

  14. P.S. Cindy, my point is that semantics are very important. Here is a suggestion. Instead of saying “homeless people” and categorizing what “they” do, just say “people who do ______.”

    Example: “I don’t like the idea of people hanging out at all hours buying booze and urinating across the street.”

    Don’t say it isn’t OK, because that is arguable. Just say “I don’t like it.” That is not arguable.

  15. I stand by my comments that it is not okay to have drunks and drug addicts around, but I concede that grouping all homeless people into that category is unfair and not accurate. However, as I said, I do actually take the time to talk to the people in my neighborhood, including the homeless (or people living in their cars) and so my comments are not coming from a place of ignorance or hatred, but rather of fact. I have no issues with homeless people in general (I lived downtown before I moved back to Echo Park and I had no problem with the homeless being there – although I wish there were more services for them, but that’s a given I think). But I do have an issue with some of the specific people who happen to be homeless and who are around here. Perhaps that’s what I should have said, and I apologize for demonizing them, but at the same time I can only deal with so many drunken screaming matches outside of my house, so many times where I’ve had to yell at people to keep them from urinating on the wall by my house, etc before I say something that is not semantically okay.
    And so sorry if you find it cliche to say ‘think of the children’ but I stand by that as well. Do you honestly think it’s okay to have drug addicts hanging around 50 feet away from children? Really? Or urinating on the wall next to their homes? Because I’m sorry but I don’t think that’s okay at all, and the fact that those activities are illegal does in fact support my assertion that they are ‘not okay’.

  16. Further, I never said a word about child molestation, nor did I actually say that all homeless are that way. If you read my comment you will see that I in fact said I was talking about the homeless in THIS area, whom I happen to know and know about. So while I understand your concern about my ‘uppityness’, I think if you reread my comment you will notice that you making a ton of assumptions and even putting words in my mouth. But thank you for your suggestions, and I do agree with your sentiment.

  17. Cindy, you are proving my point. Explaining yourself after the fact won’t do you any good in politics. Make it clear, inoffensive, and BRIEF the FIRST TIME. Nobody listens to multi-paragraph excuses for initial lack of clarity.

    And quit using the classic “I have plenty of black friends”-type response! Your heart is in the right place, and I applaud you for doing all this, but the reality is that you need to polish the rough edges to get anything done.

  18. I’m not making excuses and I don’t want any to do with politics so why are you ‘advising’ me on this? I don’t care one bit what you think of my uppityness (which is a racist term, did you know?) I said the same thing in both posts; that I talk to the local homeless people and that’s where I got my information (that and actual EXPERIENCE in my own neighborhood). The paragraphs I wrote are not excuses; if you actually read them you would see that I was in fact supporting my initial assertions, not backtracking on them. Not sure what you’re point is, and this is just getting way off topic.

    In short: I don’t care about the politics of my own comments and have no idea why you think I should or why you’re offering me this advice
    I stand by my comments, and if you read them you will see that your assertions are based on assumptions and come from putting words in my mouth.
    This is getting way off point and I don’t care at ALL what you think about what I think about the homeless in my area. I have to live here and deal with it and until you do you have zero place to say anything. The point here is that this evil corporation is trying to move in and take advantage of an already disenfranchised group because they can turn a quick profit while exploiting the people in this neighborhood. THAT is the point, so stay on topic please, thanks. And if you want to go off topic and chide someone, at least pay attention to what they’re actually saying please.

  19. Again, I repeat, I don’t want to be in politics and I don’t care what you think of me personally, because the point is that this store should NOT be put here. Period.

  20. Also, I just received an email from Captain Murphy (Northeast division police department) that he is and will remain in opposition to this proposal. He did not state why but I assume it’s the alcohol sales, which 7 Eleven has said is a deal breaker for their moving into this place. If they can’t sell alcohol they don’t want to move in here… that should be a HUGE red flag in my opinion.

  21. Your Friend, Your Neighbor, You

    The only way that a corporation can be “evil” is if you think that a corporation is a person. Are you a very right-wing person?

  22. I would like to point out that Neighborhood Council votes are only advisory at best, and the weight of community input to the zoning authority vastly more important. The EP Chamber of Commerce has opposed this based on the LAPD opposition to an additional “offsite” sale license in the area and their emphasis on promoting neighborhood commercial businesses not commuter businesses. EP Improvement Association has, i believe also weighed in negatively? But Cindy, worth contacting to find out. Their meeting is next thursday, Nov. 3, 7pm Williams Hall, Barlow Hospital.
    A 7-11 24 hour store across the street from an AM PM 24 hour store adds little to the growth of the community based business community, and will only attract more vehicles to an already congested corner and parking lot -IMO.


  23. Thanks planning lady! Will do! I did actually talk to the EPIA yesterday and they are very much against this and are trying to help me figure out the next step (ie, finding out who the zoning person to contact is, etc). Pretty much everybody is against this, but that by no means is an indication that the fight is over.

    ‘Friend’: why are you on here trying to start fights? It’s Friday night, go out with your friends and have a good time and stop trolling message boards looking for fights. It’s really not very cool.

  24. However, considering the scope of the 14th Amendment and corporate personhood, I would say that you don’t have to be right wing to call a corporation evil (which I surely am not, obviously). You just have to be paying attention 🙂

  25. Since when did a 7-11 become synonymous with a “bad element”? If anything, you’ll be adding a satellite police station to your neighborhood, if the one on Sunset by Mohawk is any indication. I mean, they don’t even sell liquor! This is a strange concern…

  26. It is a strange concern. Out seems to be based on the idea that homeless are scum and 7 11 is evil. I disagree with both assumptions.


    I agree with a big man as usual.

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