Review and Approval Process for Businesses that Sell or Serve Alcohol

​On September 24, 2013, the Board of Supervisors adopted an amendment to the Zoning Code that would create a new administrative review and approval process for restaurants and similar businesses that serve alcoholic beverages. An amendment is still pending which would, if approved, require a Conditional Use Permit for any liquor store, bar, small food market, or retail establishment dedicated to the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Adopted Amendments  

Business that require a minor use permit from the County are those that require or obtain a special license number forty-one (41), forty-seven (47), or seventy-five (75) from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Uses such as churches, social centers, art galleries, fraternal halls or private clubs that sell or serve alcoholic beverages only to members and their guests or at special events are not be subject to this new regulation.

The review and approval process is an administrative process conducted by the Zoning Administrator that would take approximately 7-21 days, and would not require a public hearing or any noticing. This administrative approval may result in conditions pertaining to hours of operation, outdoor seating, and security measures, and may vary depending on site location. The application cost for this administrative approval is approximately $1,300.

Existing restaurants and similar establishments would not be subject to this new regulation, unless the type of ABC license for the address of the business is changed, the ABC license is transferred to a different address, or the business itself is expanded in any way, including, but not limited to an increase in floor area, or a change in the operational standards such as hours of operation or restrictions on amplified music that are applied by ABC to the liquor license.

Approved Zoning Code Amendment

Alcohol Minor Use Permit Application Guide

Pending Amendments 

On September 24, 2013, the Board of Supervisors continued the remainder of the Zoning Code amendment applicable to other types of businesses such as liquor stores, bars, convenience stores, small food markets, and large retail establishments specializing in the sale of alcoholic beverages.  On January 14, 2014 the Board of Supervisors dropped the pending proposed amendments from the Board agenda. 

Proposed Zoning Code Amendment

Staff Contact

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Desirae Stephens at stephensd@saccounty.net or (916) 875-3035.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What does this proposed Amendment require?

​The proposed amendment would require a conditional use permit by the Planning Commission for any new bars or establishments selling alcoholic beverages that are 12,000 square feet or less in size, or with more than 10% of shelving devoted to the sale of these beverages.

Will existing businesses be exempt from these requirements?

Yes, existing businesses that already have appropriate ABC licensing for the sale or serving of alcohol would be exempt from these regulations, unless modified.  Modifications include expansion in the floor area of the business, a change in the type of ABC license for the address of the establishment (e.g., from Type #20 to Type #21), or if the ABC license is transferred to a different address. 

​What is the approval process?

The conditional use permit process would take approximately 5-6 months, and would involve hearings before the local Community Planning Advisory Council and the Planning Commission, with noticing to property owners within 500 feet.  The application cost for this conditional use permit is approximately $13,500.  

What conditions might be applied through this approval process?

For Type #20 or Type #21 licenses for off sale, an application for a liquor license proposed within an over-concentration area and/or high crime census tract, a finding of Public Convenience or Necessity (PCN) is currently required under the provisions of the Sacramento County Code.  The PCN must be approved by the Board of Supervisors and is typically subject to a standard set of conditions, including but not limited to no single sales of beer, restricted hours of operation, and bottle size restrictions for spirits.  It is presumed that the approval required under this proposed amendment would result in similar conditions, although the conditional use permit could be subject to additional conditions such as security measures and hours for outdoor music to address neighborhood concerns.

​Is there an appeal process?

Yes, decisions by the Planning Commission can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.  An appeal form and accompanying fee must be filed with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors within ten (10) days of the decision.

​Amendment History

​Board of Supervisor Hearings

​Hearing on the Pending Portion of the Proposed Amendments

  • Sacramento County Board of Supervisors dropped this item from the Board agenda on January 14, 2014. Once a new hearing date is set, it will be posted on this website.

​Completed Hearings

  • Tuesday, September 24, 2013, 2:00 p.m. Board of Supervisors Hearing Chambers, 700 H Street, Sacramento, CA.  The project was continued to October 22, 2013.  To see the agenda, action summary and video of this hearing go to the Board of Supervisors Agenda page, find the appropriate date and click on the desired document.

  • Tuesday, October 22, 2013.   Board of Supervisors Hearing Chambers, 700 H Street, Sacramento, CA.  The project was continued to January 14, 2014.To see the agenda, action summary and video of this hearing go to the Board of Supervisors Agenda page, find the appropriate date and click on the desired document.

​Planning Commission Hearing (completed)

The Sacramento County Planning Commission conducted a hearing for the proposed Zoning Code amendments on Monday, August 12, 2013.  To view the Planning Commission's recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, look up the agenda summary for the hearing date at the Sacramento County Planning Commission page.

​Public Information Meetings (completed)

The following meetings were held by staff to provide the public with more information on this proposed Zoning Code Amendment.

  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 9:00 a.m., Board of Supervisors Hearing Chambers, 700 H Street, Sacramento, CA
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 4:00 p.m., Board of Supervisors Hearing Chambers, 700 H Street, Sacramento, CA