July 8, 2024

Palm Springs City Council Approves Walmart Liquor License for New Gas Station

By Bob Marra

The Palm Springs City Council has approved a resolution that grants a Type 20 liquor license to a new Walmart fuel station and convenience store. This approval, finalized during the City Council meeting on June 27, 2024, marks a crucial step forward for the project, as Walmart stated that it was essential if they were to move forward with developing a 16-pump fuel station and a 1,400-square-foot convenience store at 585 Lawrence Crossley Road in the Destination Ramon Shopping Center.

The approval comes despite the existing concentration of liquor licenses in the area. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) had identified Census Tract 9410.02, where the new fuel station is to be located, as an area of undue concentration, permitting only one Type 20 license. Currently, the Walmart Supercenter at 5601 East Ramon Road holds the sole Type 20 license in this tract.

The City Council’s decision was based on a determination of public convenience or necessity, which allows an exception to the concentration rule. Tracy Inscore, representing Walmart Inc., argued that the convenience store’s sale of beer and wine would serve the public’s needs without negatively impacting the area. This assertion was supported by the Planning Commission, which had previously granted a Conditional Use Permit for the project on July 13, 2022.

City Manager Scott C. Stiles and the Department of Planning Services presented the staff report, recommending the adoption of the resolution. The report highlighted the project’s benefits, including increased convenience for residents and visitors, efficient one-stop shopping, and reduced vehicle trips and traffic congestion.

The fuel station and convenience store will operate during hours similar to those of the adjacent Walmart store, from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Beer and wine sales will be limited to a designated cooler area, ensuring they remain an ancillary aspect of the store’s offerings.

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