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Top Shelf Ordinance

Denizens of Mid-City communities North Park and Hillcrest want to be treated more like the Gaslamp District, at least in terms of the requirements placed on large nightclubs, bars, and other late-night party places.

In recent months, many residents have become intolerant of large nightclubs and bars in their communities. Cited problems include parking, litter left behind by raging revelers, and noise from establishments and patrons. They say that the City’s planning department has ignored the requirements laid out in the municipal code — the same requirements that are enforced in other areas of the city, such as in the Gaslamp.

There, and in other parts of downtown, those wishing to open nightclubs and bars 5000 square feet in size or larger are required to obtain a conditional use permit as outlined in the City’s municipal code; whereas, in North Park, Hillcrest, and other Uptown communities, the ordinance has been placed on the top shelf, out of reach from residents.

Proper enforcement of Municipal Code Section 141.0614 would give residents the opportunity to appeal to the city council and/or the city’s planning commission the issuance of a permit for large nightclubs, bars, and late-night restaurants.

“The idea is not to discourage nightclubs but is just to properly regulate them, as laid out in the city code,” says Leo Wilson, chair of the Uptown Planners and a proponent for better enforcement of the conditional use permit requirement in Uptown and North Park. “We consider what they’re pushing in Pacific Beach a bit too draconian,” adds Wilson, referring to the effort by some in the beachside community to require conditional use permits for all alcohol establishments, regardless of size and use.

“We are a little more business-friendly. It just gives us a discretionary handle on these establishments,” says Wilson, who also favors using an expedited review process, similar to that used in downtown.

On July 7, District 3 representative Todd Gloria took up the issue by sending a memo to city attorney Jan Goldsmith, asking for clarification on the ordinance.

“It has come to my attention that this ordinance is not enforced in North Park or Uptown as it is Downtown,” reads Gloria’s memo.

The memo goes on to ask whether the ordinance is retroactive, is applicable for businesses that have changed ownership, and whether there can be an expedited process available to those persons looking to open a large nightspot.

Deputy chief of staff for Todd Gloria’s office Katie Keach says the councilmember is still waiting to hear back from the city attorney.

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Denizens of Mid-City communities North Park and Hillcrest want to be treated more like the Gaslamp District, at least in terms of the requirements placed on large nightclubs, bars, and other late-night party places.

In recent months, many residents have become intolerant of large nightclubs and bars in their communities. Cited problems include parking, litter left behind by raging revelers, and noise from establishments and patrons. They say that the City’s planning department has ignored the requirements laid out in the municipal code — the same requirements that are enforced in other areas of the city, such as in the Gaslamp.

There, and in other parts of downtown, those wishing to open nightclubs and bars 5000 square feet in size or larger are required to obtain a conditional use permit as outlined in the City’s municipal code; whereas, in North Park, Hillcrest, and other Uptown communities, the ordinance has been placed on the top shelf, out of reach from residents.

Proper enforcement of Municipal Code Section 141.0614 would give residents the opportunity to appeal to the city council and/or the city’s planning commission the issuance of a permit for large nightclubs, bars, and late-night restaurants.

“The idea is not to discourage nightclubs but is just to properly regulate them, as laid out in the city code,” says Leo Wilson, chair of the Uptown Planners and a proponent for better enforcement of the conditional use permit requirement in Uptown and North Park. “We consider what they’re pushing in Pacific Beach a bit too draconian,” adds Wilson, referring to the effort by some in the beachside community to require conditional use permits for all alcohol establishments, regardless of size and use.

“We are a little more business-friendly. It just gives us a discretionary handle on these establishments,” says Wilson, who also favors using an expedited review process, similar to that used in downtown.

On July 7, District 3 representative Todd Gloria took up the issue by sending a memo to city attorney Jan Goldsmith, asking for clarification on the ordinance.

“It has come to my attention that this ordinance is not enforced in North Park or Uptown as it is Downtown,” reads Gloria’s memo.

The memo goes on to ask whether the ordinance is retroactive, is applicable for businesses that have changed ownership, and whether there can be an expedited process available to those persons looking to open a large nightspot.

Deputy chief of staff for Todd Gloria’s office Katie Keach says the councilmember is still waiting to hear back from the city attorney.

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1

"“We are a little more business-friendly. It just gives us a discretionary handle on these establishments,” says Wilson, who also favors using an expedited review process, similar to that used in downtown."

AS A INITIAL STEP, I'm for using something that is already on the "Books", because it will save time and everyday that goes by, the problem gets worse.

BUT

I also have a BIG problem with the "little more business-friendly" attitude that the City, The Council Office, the Planning Groups and of course the BID's (because it's in their own self interest) have, because up to now the Residents that live near all these Businesses have been treated like second class citizens by all of the above! NP-RID was formed, because until now, nobody was promoting for all the impacted Residents that live in these neighborhoods ONLY for businesses. North Park residents have started to mobilize and we now have large numbers of legal protests on several new liquor applications. The "Old Guard" is desperately trying regain control of the publics "eye" haven gotten a "black eye" for their NIMBY attitudes to date...

NP-RID is also now promoting for a local Residential Parking District that is governed by impacted Residents instead of by the very "Old Guard" & business folks that these Residents need protecting "from". It's simple, Businesses should NOT dump their parking blight on nearby neighborhoods, in order to save themselves money! NP-RID will promote for the "Neighborhood Friendly" businesses that treat US like they would like to be treated (THINK GOLDEN RULE) instead of just wanting all the Gold for themselves.

The CUP idea (mentioned above) as promoted by both PB NP-RID is already working in Ventura County. The RESPONSIBLE RETAILER PROGRAM collects a fee from all Liquor venues and uses that money to fund a dedicated Police/Vice Officer that has the power to adjust these businesses operating restrictions to insure that they operate in a proper manner at no additional cost to taxpayers! This program has not only reduced Crime but has also saved Ventura County big bucks! Here is the link for more info: http://www.pbspirits.com/2010/07/23/the-components-of-the-conditional-use-permit-cup/

Residents not Pro Business interests should control what is going on in San Diego and especially in our Neighborhoods where we live...

Our motto is "No More Business As Usual"; we deserve a portion of all Monies and Services just like the BID's get and up to now that has never happened. Why should entire nearby Residential Neighborhoods suffer Blight so that the BID's can make more money? These Residents pay property taxes, just like Businesses do and we deserve equitable benefit! It's a simple solution to what has been up to now a BID money "Give Away"...

Aug. 4, 2010

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