The El Segundo-based distillery is looking to open a second location in Long Beach alongside the school

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — Long Beach residents gathered Thursday to voice their concerns after the city approved a proposal for a distillery across from Edison Elementary School on Golden Avenue in downtown Long Beach.

El Segundo based veteran and family owned R6 Distilleryplans, with the approval of the city, to open the second location at the warehouse there.

Community members say they are upset by the lack of transparency around the project and the potential for more alcohol sales in the community.

They say they received no response from the city to their concerns and that they were caught off guard when they learned about the plan from an article.

Eyewitness News has contacted R6 Distillery for their response to community members.

In a statement, founder and head distiller Rob Rubens said:

“R6 Distillery is a veteran small family owned business based in El Segundo. We are excited to become an integral part of the Long Beach community and Long Beach Downtown PD-30 Revitalization Zone with our expansion project at 601 Golden Avenue.After nearly a year of thoughtful and diligent searching for an expansion to the El Segundo facility, we were thrilled to find 601 Golden Avenue in Long Beach. We proactively met with Edison Elementary School leadership to discuss our plans prior to signing our long-term lease. Our project at 601 Golden will not only help accelerate the gentrification of the area adjacent to Edison Elementary and West Long Beach, which currently hosts a number of homeless and drug addicted transients, but will also create more than 30 jobs for the community and help its Part to keep the adjacent park clean. The R6 Golden Avenue expansion is primarily a manufacturing facility and has a phase two plan for an additional tasting room. This is a tremendous investment of more than $11 million for our family and veteran business, and we look forward to being a good neighbor and partner in the Long Beach community.”

Eyewitness News also reached out to a Long Beach Unified School District spokesman, who said its planning department is working with the city to determine how the project was approved and they are reviewing next steps to fight back.

The Long Beach Development Services Department said in a statement:

“The distillery is just a suggestion at this point. The city had received a government request and preliminary plans for this site, which were released and made publicly available Department website in December 2021. The city has not received an application for an official or conditional use permit for this location. No permit has been granted for more than 6,000 feet and no planning permission has been granted.Regulatory or conditional use permission is the only discretionary approval required. However, ministerial building permits and a business license would also be required. The applicant would also need to obtain an alcohol license from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.In general, the department carefully examines all suggestions received for compliance with the adopted regulations and processes them accordingly. As background, the city council last updated in November 2016 the city’s regulations regarding the manufacture of alcoholic beverages (ABM) and the use of accessory tasting rooms are law or subject to governmental use permit. ABM regulations include provisions such as a required 500-foot buffer around schools unless they are in PD-30 (Downtown Plan) or with the approval of a conditional use permit. The ordinance also established regulations regarding hours of operation, floor space limitation, and parking requirements.The City follows City Code procedures for all applications. The ministerial decision regarding the authorization of a beneficial use and location does not result in a public forum, but this information is shared on the ministry’s website. Discretionary approvals such as regulatory occupancy permits and conditional occupancy permits result in a more comprehensive notification and consultation process.”

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Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. The El Segundo-based distillery is looking to open a second location in Long Beach alongside the school

Laura Coffey

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