Resolution: 13-05

Supporting the Deemed Approved Use Ordinance

WHEREAS, San Francisco has the highest ratio of off-sale alcohol uses per capita in California, the great majority of which are liquor stores;

WHEREAS, poorly regulated off-sale alcohol uses increase the availability of alcohol in the communities in which they are located, and studies have demonstrated a link between the availability of alcohol and numerous negative health consequences, including violence, fatal traffic crashes and nuisance law violations; and

WHEREAS, research published in the American Journal of Public Health found that communities and neighborhoods that have a high number of bars and liquor stores per capita experience more violent assaults; and

WHEREAS, researchers at Columbia University found that 25% to 40% percent of all patients in US general hospital beds (not in maternity or intensive care) are being treated for complications of alcohol-related problems; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention has determined that the three leading causes of death for teenagers are associated with alcohol use: car crashes, homicides, and suicides; and

WHEREAS, the Youth Leadership Institute found that 50% of stores in the South of Market, Tenderloin, and Mission neighborhoods of the City are not in compliance with the State’s “Lee Law” which requires that no more than 33% of a liquor store’s windows and doors are to be covered with any kind of advertising; and

WHEREAS, nuisance and criminal activities such as drug dealing, public drunkenness, loitering, and other behaviors that negatively impact neighborhoods, occur with disproportionate frequency at and around the premises of off-sale alcohol uses; and

WHEREAS, neighborhood character can change over time and the careful regulation of nuisance activity by off-sale alcohol uses will help to ensure that such uses do not contribute to the deterioration of neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, the City currently lacks a targeted administrative mechanism to enforce its existing Alcohol Restricted Use Districts in the Mission, Haight, Third Street, Divisadero, and North of Market neighborhoods, and to enforce its existing nuisance laws based on the past activities of off-sale uses on a store-by-store basis through the attachment of conditions, the imposition of administrative penalties, or the revocation of use permits; and

WHEREAS, educational campaigns directed at off-sale alcohol uses have been shown to improve their appearance, reduce nuisance activity, and benefit the local community; and

WHEREAS, there currently is no public body that brings together merchants, neighborhood representatives, and city officials to discuss the continuing nuisance problems associated with off-sale alcohol uses and to propose solutions to these problems; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Health Commission commends Youth Leadership Institute for its commitment to reducing youth access to alcohol and improving the quality of life in neighborhoods of San Francisco; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission supports the Deemed Approved Use Ordinance to regulate deemed approved off-sale alcohol outlets and commends it to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for passage.

I hereby certify that the San Francisco Health Commission, at its meeting of September 6, 2005 adopted the foregoing resolution.

Michele M. Seaton, Executive Secretary to the Health Commission