“The Jumping Turtle is not going out of business,” says owner Matt Hall, despite having lost his most recent appeal to keep the City of San Marcos from revoking his venue’s entertainment permit.
“City Hall hired a hearing officer who reviewed the claims against us, and she went back to two supposed noise violations as the main reason to revoke. I’ve never been cited [for a noise violation] in seven years; it was just two sheriffs who basically said, ‘Yeah, I pulled in to the Turtle once and I heard music.’ ”
Hall’s appeal included testimonials in favor of allowing the Turtle to host concerts, especially all-age events, provided by supporters such as Meliesa McDonell, music director of Vista School of Rock, and Beth Vinas, who runs the CCMusicArts School. “We do a lot of things with music students.… The City should be more worried about the methadone clinic down the street.”
Shortly after his last appeal hearing, according to Hall, “San Marcos city clerk Susie Vasquez served this letter of intent to revoke, which she has the power to do because that particular permit comes out of her office.… I don’t think there’s ever been another [entertainment permit] revocation in San Marcos.”
Other San Marcos clubs offering live music have included the Longshot, closed in September 2006 over state Alcoholic Beverage Control violations and a reported stabbing, and the Boulevard, which had its liquor license suspended for a time before closing in 2008.
For now, Hall says he’s operating under “business as usual. Our permit is not [currently] revoked, but they have the power to do so anytime they want. They can even tell me what color to paint my building if they want. So now we’re just waiting for the city council to decide what they’re gonna do.
“Probably the only reason they haven’t revoked us yet is because they’re in the process of changing lawyers.”