The mouth of the valley is getting a BevMo.
With Supervisor Dave Potter brokering a deal between the alcoholic beverage superstore and Carmel Valley opponents right up to the final vote, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to allow BevMo to set up shop in the Carmel Rancho shopping center.
Potter had joined dozens of area residents, led by Carmel Valley activists Margaret Robbins and Christine Williams, in expressing doubt or outright opposition to adding the alcohol retailer to what they argued was an existing abundance of places to purchase beer, wine and liquor.
Opponents had worried about everything from BevMo's impact on local businesses and the area's rural character, including traffic congestion, to the proposed site near Carmel High School and Carmel Middle School and the potential for promoting underage drinking. They flooded supervisors with letters of opposition, and the board postponed voting on the matter for about two weeks to allow discussions between BevMo and opponents.
Supporters, who submitted a number of letters to the board, argued BevMo would offer merchandise not available at smaller local stores and would actually enhance the area's economy and boost the profile of local wineries.
On Tuesday, Potter got Robbins and Williams to agree to drop their opposition, which included protests with the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, in exchange for a series of conditions on the new store, most of them already agreed to by BevMo officials.
The clincher, apparently, came when a BevMo representative agreed to a demand from opponents to limit the store's wine-tasting events.
Potter said he was simply trying to "broker a peace in the 'hood," and told opponents BevMo likely would not have agreed to any limits if no compromise was reached. He and other supervisors praised the retailer's business practices, and Potter said many of the 17 conditions to be imposed on the local store were already BevMo policy.
BevMo already has a store in Salinas.
· Supervisors gave county probation chief Manuel Real the nod to ask state corrections officials for a one-year delay in formally choosing a site for a new $52.4million juvenile hall to allow further analysis of alternative sites and more community outreach.
Supervisors Jane Parker and Lou Calcagno urged Real to get the public involved early on in the process. Parker said public outreach efforts in a number of county departments had been lacking.
· Natividad Medical Center CEO Harry Weis provided an update on the county's low-income health program, ViaCare, in response to a request from Parker.
Weis said the program would start accepting applications Monday from potentially eligible residents — single, childless adults earning up to 100percent of the federal poverty level. He said county health officials would announce the application process and sites Friday.
Parker said the estimated 50 to 60 days needed to process the applications and begin offering temporary health coverage was too long, but county social services director Elliott Robinson said his department is already facing a major challenge in getting children in the Healthy Families program shifted to MediCal starting Friday. Robinson said ViaCare enrollment could go quicker but he didn't want to raise false expectations.
The program is designed as a precursor to major implementation of the Affordable Care Act beginning next year.
· The board approved hiring David Chardavoyne as general manager of the county Water Resources Agency. Chardavoyne, who has served as interim general manager since November 2011, will officially start April 1 and be paid an annual salary of $182,460.
Jim Johnson can be reached at 753-6753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.