Wal-Mart has won the unanimous backing of the Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council for it's application to sell hard liquor.
Store attorney Lisa Kolieb told the Neighborhood Council Wednesday that less than 1 percent of the mega-store's floorspace would be devoted to alcohol. The display would be located in the back of the store, and that management had worked with LAPD Capt. Kris Pitcher of the Devonshire station on security issues.
Wal-Mart, at 19821 Rinaldi St. in Porter Ranch, has committed to provide an additional roving security guard in the parking lot for 40 hours a week for the next three years. They will install I.D.-checking software on their cash registers, and there will be a staffed "choke point" near the exits to prevent "grab and go" thieves from running out of the store with liquor. Also, 100 percent of the staff will get liquor-sales training.
Management will also be working with developer Shappell Homes, which owns the parking lots, to prohibit overnight camping.
Wal-Mart will plan ahead for security to deal with major sales events, such as last year's Black Friday when a on shoppers.
The new store manager, Fernando Reyes, pledged to be responsive to community concerns. Individual cans of beer will not be sold. Rather, beer will be in 6- or 12-packs, and alcohol will be in party-size bottles rather than smaller dispensers. The bottles will have security caps, and some brands popular with under-age drinkers, such as Patron and Jägermeister, would be locked up, he said.
When alcohol sales begin, chilled beer will not be available, but the store will eventually install coolers, Kolieb said.
Separately, Reyes announced the store is embarking on a solar-energy project. The Porter Ranch store is going to be one of many Wal-Mart stores in California that will have roof-top solar panels to provide clean energy. Construction will be underway in the next 30 days.