The Berkeley, CA city council may soon use a new city law to close a store whose owners allegedly harbor drug dealers, the Oakland Tribune reports. A city staff recommendation to close the store, B-Town Dollar, will go before the council on July 17 as the first case under a new law that streamlined Berkeley’s process for declaring a business a nuisance and revoking its operating permits.
Since 2003, Berkeley police say they have recorded 24 incidents related to drug dealing inside the store and on the sidewalk in front of it, including one in which two dealers exchanged gunshots. After an April 2 hearing, the city’s zoning adjustments board recommended that the council declare B-Town a public nuisance and close it. Berkeley officials say they have met with the store’s owners to discuss the problems, but without success.