As a business located on Wayside Drive seeks their license to sell alcoholic beverages, neighbors in the area have turned to the City and police department in an attempt to have the permit denied.
The business, currently called Olive Market, is said to be a mini-market similar to the existing Wayside Market nearby. With the existing market already selling alcohol, neighbors say that the small neighborhood could become oversaturated with increased alcohol sales in an area that already experiences several alcohol-related crimes.
“It’s not safe for that area,” said Melody Brenington, a nearby resident. “The area already has problems.”
Although the City of Turlock and the Turlock Police Department cannot control whether the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issues the business a license, TPD Capt. Carl Nielsen says that the department can make a recommendation that might hold some weight.
While the police department and city staff are taking into consideration the neighbors’ concerns, Nielsen says they will ultimately make a recommendation to the ABC board based on their findings, such as whether or not the permit would have negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood.
“The decision is in the hands of ABC, but with input from the police chief,” said Nielsen. “We have met with the business owners and those against it, and are looking at both sides of the issue.”
Police Chief Robert Jackson, who will make the recommendation to the ABC department, says that he and other TPD representatives are working to get a resolution done quickly.
“We’re going at this with an all-hands approach, looking at all the angles to see what’s best for the community in that area,” said Jackson.
Turlock Unified School Board member Dr. Harinder Grewal also shared concerns regarding the new business seeking the alcohol permit, noting the impacts it could have on the existing nearby businesses.
“The economic impact will hurt two existing businesses in that area,” said Grewal. “You will have three closed businesses in the long run, and most probably crime will go up with this business selling alcohol, being open late at night.”
Grewal shared that he has been talking with neighbors in the area, receiving more than 100 complaints regarding the new Olive Market, to be located at 755 Wayside Drive.
City Manager Roy Wasden informed the concerned neighbors and Grewal that the City had no control over the ABC license being issued, but that the police department would continue looking at both sides of the matter to make a sound recommendation.
Although Nielsen said that he understood the neighbors’ concerns, he believed that the owners of the new market were very pleasant people, who were eager to become productive members of the business community.
Jackson has not commented on whether or not he has made a decision on the matter, but has reported that he would be writing a letter to the ABC department soon.