Antioch council to consider liquor store approval appeal, forming new, reorg two other dep’ts

Will also consider forming Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee, appeal of Planning Commission’s denial of tree removal, $110K for July 4th celebration

By Allen D. Payton

During their regular meeting Tuesday night, March 14, 2023, the Antioch City Council will consider the appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of a new liquor store on Somersville Road and the appeal of the commission’s denial of a tree removal on W. 5th Street. The council will also consider forming a new engineering department and reorganizing the public works and community development departments.

In other council business, they will consider spending $110,000 to organize and pay for the annual Independence Day Celebration, including fireworks on the river, and forming Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker’s proposed Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee, with the task to form a commission of the same name.

Somersville Liquor Store Appeal

According to the staff report, on October 12, 2022, Gurmej Singh applied for a Use Permit to operate a new liquor store at 2651 Somersville Road in City Council District 2. The application was reviewed by City staff, including the Antioch Police Department, and outside agencies, and was forwarded to the Planning Commission for consideration. On February 15, 2023, the Planning Commission voted 4-3 to approve the Use Permit for the liquor store.

Then, on Feb. 21st, District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson held a press conference and called for the appeal of the commission’s decision and a 45-day urgency ordinance to halt approval of new liquor stores to give staff time to develop a permanent ban on all future liquor stores in the city. However, at the special council meeting on Thursday, Feb. 23rd with Torres-Walker absent, the proposed urgency ordinance died on a 2-2 vote.

That same day, an appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision was filed with the City Clerk by Kathryn Wade who lives about two miles away from the proposed site. In the reasons for her appeal she wrote, “we do not need another liquor store in the Somserville area. We already have three (3) liquors less than a mile between them and we need better services and businesses in that area. The liquor doesn’t bring any value to the community.”

Also, according to the staff report, The site is located within Census Tract 3072.05, which currently has three other offsale Type 21 licenses and a population of 8,483. The current ratio is one outlet for each 2,828 persons. This fourth outlet would create a ratio of one outlet for each 2,121 persons. The average for Contra Costa County is one outlet for each 1,773 persons. As such, the location is not considered unduly concentrated based on outlets per resident and a finding of public convenience and necessity is not required. the other outlets in Census Tract 3072.05 are as follows:

  • 7-Eleven at 2301 Buchanan Road
  • ampm at 2610 Contra Loma Boulevard
  • Wine & Liquor at 2958 Delta Fair Boulevard

The council can either vote to grant the appeal which will deny the use permit or deny the appeal and approve it.

City of Antioch proposed 2023 July 4th Celebration budget. Source: City staff report.

Funds for Independence Day Celebration

At their last regular meeting, with Wilson and Torres-Walker both absent, the council voted 3-0 to table spending $110,000 of City funds to pay for the costs of the annual Independence Day Celebration on July 4th. The council will consider the matter, again. But a vote to remove the item from the table should be required before the council can actually vote on the proposed expenditure.

Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee

The final agenda item of the meeting will be a vote to form a new Human Rights and Racial Equity Ad Hoc Committee. According to the city staff report, the committee of two council members would “work with the city manager and the city attorney to propose an ordinance forming the…commission” of the same name, “which would work to promote mutual, respect, understanding and tolerance among all persons within the City.

The Commission would proactively engage in research, action planning, education, and community outreach to advance the rights of all persons to have an equal opportunity to live, work, and prosper within the City.

The Commission would work to build a community where relationships among diverse people are valued by all, the voices of underrepresented groups are heard, discrimination is not tolerated, and residents can work together to resolve issues concerning discrimination and alienation.

The Human Rights and Racial Equity Commission could also plan, promote, and develop community-oriented education programs and events to foster positive human relations, equal opportunity, and greater understanding and appreciation of the City’s cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity. The proposed educational programs and events developed by the Human Rights and Racial Equity Commission would be submitted to the City Council prior to the adoption of the budget for the fiscal year in which the proposed educational programs and events are planned to be held.

Access to remedies and resolutions under existing state and federal laws addressing unlawful discrimination may also be enhanced by providing a local forum to hear and work towards the advancement of human rights and racial equity goals.”

Public Comments

Members of the public wishing to speak on an item must do so in person.  If you wish to provide a written public comment, you may email the City Clerk’s Department at, by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council meeting. Written public comments received by 3:00 p.m. the day of the City Council Meeting will be shared with the City Council before the meeting; entered into the public record; retained on file by the City Clerk’s Office; and available to the public upon request. Written public comments will not be read during the City Council meeting.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 200 H Street, in historic, downtown Rivertown. It can also be viewed via livestream on the City’s website or either on Comcast local cable access channel 24 or AT&T U-verse channel 99.



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the attachments to this post:

ACC mtg art 03-14-23

Antioch 2023 July 4th Celebration budget

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