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There’s a party going on at Universal Nightclub -- located on the corner of University Avenue and Vermont Street in Hillcrest -- and the celebration has lasted far too long. Residents of the community and members of the Uptown planning committee are upset about several issues that have been brought to their attention since the club opened its doors in mid-April of this year.

Some members of the Uptown planning committee are angry in regards to the numerous codes the nightclub has been exempt from, such as: no street trees on the sidewalk, no parking, the rundown appearance of the backside of the building, and irregular curb cuts that the planning board says don’t meet ADA requirements.

“Usually the public-urination thing is a male thing, but I was near the area over the weekend and it was both sexes,” said Leo Wilson, chair of the Uptown planning committee, on Tuesday, August 4. “This place is getting exempted all the time. Maybe it has something to do with the important local dignitaries that were there on opening night,” added Wilson.

Steve Satz also sits on the board. He said he had a discussion with Universal’s management about some of the issues and their response was, essentially, that they were not going to pour any more money into the club.

Wilson said the issue would be added on to an upcoming agenda to be addressed by the board.

Universal Responds:

Billy Nordmeier, manager of Universal Nightclub in Hillcrest, says his club does its best to keep their patrons from making noise in residential areas after a night of partying. Nordmeier responded to remarks made at the Uptown planners meeting last Tuesday:

“Unfortunately, there’s only so much we can do, short of cupping our hands over our guests’ mouths when they leave. We have security guards in position to remind them to keep it down. Besides that, we can’t do much more.”

As for parking problems, Nordmeier says, “Parking would be an issue regardless of the type of business that went into this location.” He has tried to address the issue by renting an available lot nearby and providing free valet for his guests, though Nordmeier admits, the rented lot does not provide near enough parking. So, essentially, there is little that can be done short of building a parking garage.

He also addressed the other issues about lack of street trees and the unattractive look of the back of the building: “We’ve never heard anything about street trees before, and the back of the building...I mean, I’m not sure what I can say; it’s the back of the building.”

Nordmeier says that despite the complaints from some members of the community, overall, he’s happy with the relationship between the residents of Hillcrest and the nightclub he manages. Nordmeier plans to attend more of the community’s meetings so that he can address any issues with Universal Nightclub.

Shake your booty on down to the next Uptown planning committee meeting at the Joyce Beers Community Center on the first Tuesday of each month.

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Ponzi Aug. 12, 2008 @ 8:57 a.m.

This was opened by the promoters that own the Stingaree club downtown. They told planner they were opening a "chic piano bar" and it morphed into a nightclub. They call it the first "omnisexual nightclub."

As far as "using the same parking as any other business" that is assuming those other businesses were nightclubs as well were you pack hundres of standing people inside. The parking is a big problem.

I know people that live nearby and they hate the place because there have already been fights in the streets, noise, vandalism and public urination. People that live in the area and work late, come home to find no parking an dhave to walk several blocks in the dark to get home.

Bottom line: what planning?


JOHNNY_B Aug. 18, 2008 @ 8:22 p.m.

Interesting... I did a web search online to look for articles related to the development of Universal... One that was particularly striking was a Sept 2006 article in the Gay & Lesbian Times... this line particularly stood out in the article: “This project is not a nightclub. This is an upscale, New York-style lounge with an upscale restaurant,” Brennan said." (Brennan being one of the partners in the firm that owns Universal).

The full article is available at this link: http://www.gaylesbiantimes.com/?id=8195&issue=979

Very interesting - Now that Universal is open - it looks like a nightclub to me!!! (contrary to Brennan's statement!)


Fred Williams Sept. 8, 2008 @ 12:11 p.m.

Typical San Diego bait and switch. We're sold one thing, and get another.

Time for residents to stand up. First step is to elect representatives on the city council who care more about neighborhoods than developers.

I'll be contacting the Stephen Whitburn for City Council campaign to see if he'll take a position on this one.

Whitburn listens to neighborhoods. His opponent, lifelong political hack Gloria, takes his money, and his marching orders, from developers.


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