For years, North Park neighbors of the Bluefoot Lounge have complained about excessive noise coming from the bar and noise and litter from patrons walking through the neighborhood to their cars late at night.
Tensions mounted during a community planning committee meeting, when Bluefoot's owners, Adam Cook and Cuong Nguyen, requested that the committee support their request to extend hours from midnight on Sunday through Thursday to 2 a.m.
The committee denied their request.
Now, weeks after members of the North Park Planning Committee denied Cook and Nguyen's request to amend their Neighborhood Use Permit, residents are incensed about a meeting between Bluefoot's owners, representatives from the Development Services Department, and the police department's vice unit.
Residents say the meeting, held shortly after the planning committee's decision on November 16, are renewed efforts by Cook and Nguyen to amend their Neighborhood Use Permit, this time to extend hours on Thursday night's from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. and to extend their Neighborhood Use Permit from two years to ten years.
Their efforts appear to have been successful.
"After the meeting, the San Diego Police Department was willing to relax the conditions of the bar to 2 a.m. on Thursday evenings from the current midnight closing," wrote one nearby resident opposed to extending the bar's hours. "Additionally, the police department was okay with [extending their] NUP.
The residents claim that the meeting is evidence that city officials are aiding Bluefoot's owners in the process.
"This appears, sadly, to be a case of support the business applicant to any extent necessary to assure them a successful outcome, and the public be damned," wrote one North Park resident in a December 6 email to Councilmember Todd Gloria.
North Park denizens have also contacted Renee Mezo of the City's Development Services Department. Mezo is handling the issue for the City.
"[Meeting with residents] is warranted unless the Development Services Department wishes to convey a message that [the department] is not working in the best interest of the community and is rather supporting one side versus another," wrote another resident to Mezo on December 6. "I hope that this is not the case and that we will start seeing more balance when Development Services Department considers issues that effect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community."
The Development Services Department is expected to announce their decision on December 8.
Cook and Nguyen failed to respond to this correspondent's request for comment, as did Mezo.