Chaos befell the April 21st Pacific Beach Town Council meeting when 35-year Pacific Beach resident Scott Chipman raised the issue of the Shore Club alcohol license/deck expansion, an issue Chipman felt was a land use issue that should be addressed by the Pacific Beach Planning Board.
“Who’s running the meeting, the membership or the board? That’s what I want to know,” said Council President, Rose Galliher, in response to the 11 board members’ reactions to the topic and what appeared to be their frustration.
“It needs to be said that the 2009 board voted on this just a few months back and that board deemed that it was not in the best interest of the community, did not feel it was what the general membership was looking for, for us to go and back a bar, double their capacity enable them to serve more alcohol when we have a high crime area and we have more bars than we’re supposed to have, per ABC requirements anyway. Yet they keep issuing licenses and transferring licenses...” said Town Council Board Member, Rick Oldham.
I interviewed Chipman Friday, April 23. Chipman identified himself as a member of the PB Planning Board, but made it clear that he was not representing the board at the Town Council meeting.
“Can you please explain the issue pertaining to the Shore Club, as addressed at the Town Council meeting, and share your concerns,” I said.
“The issue was the expansion of the alcohol license at the Shore Club, a restaurant that operates as a bar after 10 pm. According to the Town Council president they were only reviewing the issue of deck expansion. There’s never been a case sending an applicant to a Town Council meeting for review and support for a development issue. The concern is that garnishing support for a deck may be construed by some to be implied as support for an alcohol license. Why would they need community support for deck expansion? If Town Council is reviewing building projects…that
seems inappropriate. If reviewing this for providing support for an alcohol license then that needs to be made clear, and it wasn’t. It would be controversial. Pacific Beach is one of the three worst census tracks for general crime and alcohol-related crime in San Diego.”
Per Chipman, Pacific Beach has a 1,900% city-wide average crime rate with 54 alcohol licenses in an area where ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control) recommends 5. “Pacific Beach has ten times more alcohol licenses than recommended by the ABC. This information comes from Joe Dalton, Crime Analyst with the SDPD,” said Chipman adding, “Board members asked for this to be on the agenda. That request was refused. The president was out of order. There was a motion on the floor. It was seconded. There was no vote taken. Then there was a new motion. In calling for a vote…it was unclear… what motion, the motion on the floor, or the Shore Club motion? People were trying to tell her (Galliher) there was still a motion on the floor.”
Per Chipman the Planning Board has twice reviewed the request by the Shore Club for the deck expansion and twice the request has been denied. “It’s a concern to the community that this board would reverse previous board decisions. Also, Town Council hasn’t studied alcohol licensing policies and they base their decisions on personal biases.”
The meeting adjourned without voting on the motion.
A response from Rose Galliher, PBTC President:
Your article published April 24, 2010, on The Shore Club’s Deck was interesting. Your writer, Carolyn Grace Matteo, never contacted me for an interview; however, I am quoted in your article. Additionally, Ms. Matteo’s article was void of many facts.
In summary, the Pacific Beach Town Council (PBTC) general meeting held on April 21 covered many important community items on the agenda. The city and community representatives who share their time and research to report on the betterment and beautification of our community – were inappropriately interrupted by a topic not on the agenda. In accordance with PBTC bylaws, the topic should have waited to the end of the meeting as “non-debatable” discussion and presented as an agenda item for a future meeting. The April 21 meeting was “out of order” – and I take responsibility for this.
We welcome all public media to the PBTC meetings. Community awareness is extremely important. It increases PBTC membership – getting people to participate in the betterment and beautification of our community. This includes controversial discussion. In the future, I would appreciate being interviewed to ensure your articles reporting PBTC community issues are objective and contain all facts.