Winters Market announces intention to withdraw liquor license application

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

Support Local Journalism


A last-minute decision on behalf of a local business owner changed the course of an agenda item that councilmembers were expected to take action on at the Feb. 7 Winters City Council meeting.

Council was slated to hold a public hearing on Winters Market’s application for a Type-20 ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) License. If approved, the license would allow for off-sale beer and wine sales (off-site consumption only) at Winters Market.

City Manager Kathleen Salguero Trepa informed councilmembers that ABC considered the area where Winters Market is located to have an “undue concentration” of alcohol licenses. Which ABC defines as a “ratio of off-sale retail licenses to the population in the census tract or census division in which the applicant premises are located that exceeds the ratio of off-sale retail license to the population in the county in which the applicant premises are located.”

In this situation, in order for a new alcoholic license to be issued, the local governmental body -— Winters City Council -— must approve a Determination of Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN)

Trepa said City Staff was not in support of approval of the proposed PCN determination due to the market’s proximity to Winters High School making it a popular destination for students before, during and after school hours.

“While one option is to require that alcohol be locked and not available for sale during school hours, including one hour before and after the school day, the school schedule adjusts for a number of different reasons, adding a layer of complexity for tracking and enforcement,” Trepa said.

A letter submitted by Winters Joint Unified School District Superintendent Rody Boonchouy was accompanied by signatures from WHS staff and students on a recently signed Friday Night Live petition that had been circulated around the high school site, not in favor of allowing the license to be approved. The letter from Friday Night Live stated that “Granting the Winters Market request would send a message opposite of the one taught in our health classes on campus, which teachers our youth about the harmful effects of alcohol.”

Winters Police Chief John P. Miller also submitted a position letter on behalf of the Winters Police Department.

Miller’s letter had a detailed breakdown of conditions that would have to be followed if the Council approved the PCN determination and the license was issued. The conditions included that no sales would be made during normal school hours, plus a minimum of on hour on each side of the regular bells schedule regardless of the day of the week — which would start sales begin after 5 p.m. Additionally, all alcohol products must be physically inaccessible and locked during the details days and hours.

Winters Market owner Sumandeep Singh approached Council and announced that he had made a last-minute decision to withdraw the application with ABC in response to community concerns. He noted his business was there to provide for the community, especially the students.

Singh said he had fielded phone calls of concern over the past two weeks, and as a parent, he understood and wanted to help keep Winters youth safe.

Assistant City Attorney Martin de los Angeles advised councilmembers a public hearing was not necessary. However, to ensure the application is denied or withdrawn, the council should request that Singh send the City a copy of the intent to withdraw sent to ABC.  

Councilmembers decided the best step was to move forward with the agenda and wait for Singh to show proof of the application withdrawal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Article

Celebrating National FFA Week

Next Article

Express Yourself: Our sister city, Almogía — Part 2

Related Posts