Executive Director Andy Duran’s Comments to City Council on May 20, 2013 on Proposed Liquor License at Shell Station on Deerpath/Oakwood
Hello. I am coming to you tonight in response to previous council discussions regarding the City of Lake Forest’s liquor code and the proposed liquor license at the Shell Station on the corner of Deerpath and Oakwood.
It is the well-informed opinion of LEAD and the SpeakUP! Prevention Coalition that the Shell Station should NOT be allowed to sell liquor in our community. We believe that gas stations should not be allowed to sell liquor, and many surrounding communities restrict such sales. But, our concern with the Shell Station is not just because it is a gas station. Rather, we believe it would increase the ease of access youth in our community have to alcohol.
This particular gas station is frequented often by youth walking into town from both Deerpath Middle School and the School of St. Mary everyday, after school. The Shell station is also located across the street from Subway, which attracts a lot of underage youth to this particular area. Within a three-block radius from the Shell Station, liquor sales, including single-use units, are already allowed at Walgreen’s, CVS, and Lake Forest Food & Wine – not to mention the local restaurant establishments. Granting a liquor license to the Shell station would make the amount of liquor-selling retail establishments in this area very dense.
We do have an underage-drinking problem in Lake Forest. Local data indicates that our local youth are drinking at rates much higher than other parts of the country. You can take steps tonight towards helping to curb this issue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Guide to Preventive Services has endorsed reducing outlet density as an effective strategy for reducing alcohol use among youth.
Obtaining a liquor license is a privilege – not a right! The City Council has the authority to decide where, how many, and even if any liquor licenses are granted in Lake Forest. The council does not even have to identify a specific basis for doing so.
Protecting the youth of our community should be our number 1 concern! We urge you to help us continue to take steps forward, not steps back by deciding not to grant a liquor license to the Shell Station on the basis of protecting our most precious asset – our youth!