Rotten Robbie (RR)

Applying for a Conditional Use Permit to Sell Beer & Wine

City of SJ is Seeking Public Input

Gasoline Service Station at 445 E. Julian Street - File No. CP18-028

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Gasoline Service Station at 445 E. Julian Street - File No. CP18-028

445 E. Julian Street -- File No. CP18-028

Rotten Robbie is currently in the process of applying for a conditional use permit to sell beer and wine at their gas station located at 445 E. Julian St.

" allow the demolition of an existing convenience store, storage building, removal of two billboards; allow the construction of an approximately 3,183-square foot convenience store; the off-sale of alcohol (beer and wine); and a Determination of Public Convenience or Necessity for the off-sale of alcohol (beer and wine) on an approximately 0.39-gross acre site."

Your feedback is crucial on whether or not Rotten Robbie will be granted a permit to sell any alcohol. Our City Council will vote based on public comments received.

Map of Off-Site Liquor License Allowed (Per Census Tract)

Background Information

How did we end up with so many liquor outlets?

Decades ago, excess liquor licenses were allowed to be issued in our area; at that time it was not regulated. We now know there is some evidence of overlap between over-concentrated census tracts and high crime police activities.

The City of SJ has since regulated the number of liquor licenses allowed in a given census tract to address this current over-concentration but many still remain in excess (these are grandfathered-in).

Rotten Robbie (RR) is in Census Tract #60. There are currently 3 off-site licenses in this tract when only 2 are allowed; therefore this Tract area is already "over-concentrated" so any new off-sale alcohol license request are "subject to a determination of public convenience or necessity". Rotten Robbie is petitioning to be the 4th business making this area 2x more than what is allowed.

Sale of Alcohol in Our Community

Why is Rotten Robbie asking for signatures?

Rotten Robbie (RR) currently does not sell liquor at Julian Street/N. 10th Street (a store across the street does). RR is collecting signatures as their proof that there is a "public convenience and necessity" for them to sell liquor there.

We have heard they are telling their patrons that their signature allows them to "improve" their store, which is not accurate -- they can choose to improve their store, like what they are doing on at least 10 of their other stores.

According to their website, RR is a family-owned business with 34 stores, mostly in the Bay Area. The station on Julian St/N. 10th has been in the family for decades and can use a bit of renovation.

They are indicating that they will not renovate the current site if they don't get the liquor license (note they have and are remodeling other stores, including one on Oakland Rd (Census Tract 161)--and yes, they will be requesting a liquor license at that site as well).

So their logic is "my rental property needs an update so my neighbors need to allow me to build a larger-than-currently-allowable structures up to the property lines so that I can recoup my renovation cost with multiple AirBNB units--and if they don't, I won't fix up my property."

Updating and maintaining your business property should be a given for any business and should not be at the expense of the neighbors.

Note that even if they are granted the liquor license, there is no requirement for them to renovate. These issues are independent.

Note that an issued liquor license stays with the property and could be passed on to another operator who may NOT respect the rules or our community. It is extremely difficult / impossible for the community to rescind an existing liquor license.

Reasons to say "NO"

  • A liquor license stays with the property when sold--so today's operator may not be tomorrow's.

  • Goes against the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (13th St. Neighborhood Improvement Plan)

  • Studies reveal there is some overlap between over-concentrated census tracts and high crime police activities. We currently have 3 when only 2 is allowed; having 4 will NOT improve our community.

  • Directly across the street from Rotten Robbie is a corner convenience store that already sells liquor and is noted to be problematic (even to RR).

  • Although not impossible, it is NOT easy to lose or rescind a liquor license once one is granted.

Thirteenth Street Neighborhood Improvement Plan

City of San José's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI)

The Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (SNI) was developed in partnership between the City of San José and the community to build clean, safe, and attractive neighborhoods with independent and capable neighborhood organizations.

In reference to the sale of alcohol in our community, the Strong Neighborhoods Initiative (13th St. Neighborhood Improvement Plan), notes the following:

  • “Improve and encourage vibrant and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood commercial areas in the 13th Street neighborhood.” To do that, “Reduce the number of alcohol sales establishments in the neighborhood.” Pg. 4-3, SNI Goal 3

  • For our area, liquor stores are considered “blighting and detrimental to community life. Pg. 4-4

  • We have “an abundance of liquor-serving or liquor-sales establishments, which residents feel discourage property investments, and contribute to neighborhood concerns about safety.” Pg. 4-15

  • For commercial improvement, “Minimize incompatible uses, such as bail bonds or liquor stores. Pg. 4-30

  • Safety and security of the neighborhoods is a concern of the community and that the “heavy concentration of liquor stores and bars invite vandalism, graffiti, trash." Pg. 4-69

  • The prevalence of bars and liquor stores has resulted in activities that seriously detract from the sense of security and safety in the neighborhood.” Pg. 4-72

  • In the Action Plan it says this area suffers from an oversupply of liquor stores and bars. Pg. 5-7

Problems with an existing establishment that sells liquor?

Although not impossible, it is not easy to strip a business of their liquor license. It is best to rally surrounding neighbors and all file separately, reporting personal, witnessed experiences that show non-compliance (i.e. selling to someone who is intoxicated or a known "habitual drunk". To learn more about it, visit the CA Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control:

To file a "Complaint Against Licensee" with the Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control: