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Neighbors Worried About Proposed Bar in Old Foothill Farms

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY -- A Sacramento County neighborhood is upset about a proposed bar. The owners of the business want special permission from the County Board of Supervisors to allow them in, even though the neighborhood has too many alcohol outlets by state standards.

The location, along Auburn Boulevard in Old Foothill Farms, is an area the county has been trying to clean up because of high crime rates in the past. Now, other business owners and a community task force are organizing to keep this bar out, because they say there's already too many.

Tammy Latino has been running The Bird Shop for more than 30 years. In October of 2010, she said several gang members got into a shootout in the parking lot with bullets breaking out several of the shop's windows.

"People that were drinking at the bar and got into a fight and started shooting each other," Latino said.

No birds were hurt. But Latino says the suspects spilled out from Alley Katz, a bar next door that has since closed.

Now a new bar, Harps Lounge, has applied to move in two doors down from Latino. If that happens, she told FOX40 she may have to move.

"I'm going to consider it. I've been here 37 years, but, you know, I don't want the stress of it. You know if I'm having a lot of problems then, yes, I am going to consider moving," Latino said.

Latino and others from the Old Foothill Farms Community Task Force are organizing to keep Harps Lounge out, in large part because the neighborhood already has too many alcohol outlets by state Alcoholic Beverage Control standards.

"We just don't think this is a location to put a bar, and we don't think we need another alcohol outlet in the neighborhood," said Lisbeth Gray, who is chair of the task force that met Wednesday night at Pioneer Elementary.

Gray finds the applicant's request for a waiver around the ABC restrictions ridiculous.

"They need to demonstrate that although there are already too many liquor outlets in the neighbor, that the public needs this, that there is some benefit to the community. We don't want it here, we don't think there's going to be any benefit to us," Gray said.

But other businesses in the same complex, like Boss Boxing and MMA gym next door, don't agree. Employees there are working to open soon and feel the bar could bring them more business.

"If somebody wants to build their business, you know it doesn't matter what area it is, they should have all rights. That's their way of making money, their fortune, you know, if they want to build a bar, I'm down for it," said Jamar Jenkins, who works at Boss Boxing and MMA.

FOX40 reached out to the owner of Harps Lounge but have not heard from him.