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Local Government’s Role in Reducing Alcohol-Related Harm

Who has the responsibility to regulate alcohol outlets in San Diego County? Is it the state of California or local municipalities?
Most people you ask will probably say it’s the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. But the truth is both state and local authorities are responsible for approving and overseeing alcohol-related businesses.

As it turns out, state officials want local governments to step up and have expressly stated that within the California Business and Professions Code. Municipalities have the right and responsibility to use responsible planning and land use policies to regulate businesses that sell alcohol.
Today, local planning officials routinely use tools such as specific land use definitions, deemed approved ordinances, and conditional use permits to help communities flourish while avoiding the negative consequences caused by problematic alcohol outlets.

Join us as our keynote speaker, a local land use expert, as he shares with San Diego County leaders the measurable success and positive impact that “local-control” land use strategies play in creating a healthy, thriving communities.


Beth Sise, JD, RN, MSN, CPNP
Chair, Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego County
Director, Trauma Research and Injury Prevention,
Trauma Service, Scripps Mercy Hospital

Bill Fulton, Director of Planning, City of San Diego

Mr. Fulton currently serves as the city’s master planner and is considered a leading advocate of the “Smart Growth” movement in urban planning. He is a former Mayor and Councilmember of the City of Ventura, California, which has been at the forefront of utilizing land use strategies to quell alcohol-related harm caused by problematic businesses.

After winning election to the Ventura City Council in 2003, Mr. Fulton led that city’s innovative effort to promote sensitive infill development.
He was also active in the incorporation of the City of West Hollywood in 1984, and was one of the first appointees to the West Hollywood Planning Commission upon its creation in 1986.

Mr. Fulton is by all accounts an urban planning visionary, writing hundreds of articles on the topic, including more than forty Sunday Opinion pieces in the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of several books, including the Guide to California Planning, which remains a standard textbook for urban planning classes. His book, The Reluctant Metropolis: The Politics of Urban Growth in Los Angeles was a Los Angeles Times best-seller. He is also the longtime publisher of the periodical, California Planning & Development Report.

Mr. Fulton is a Senior Fellow at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy where he teaches land use policy and smart growth. He holds a master’s degree in journalism/public affairs from The American University in Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.