Wednesday, April 19, 2017

4/19/17 City Council meeting open thread

Please use the comments to record your observations.


  1. Huh? Like Dr.Dao? The dude frog-dragged from the US flight?

  2. ¡HOLY MOLY! The city council accepted the DAO. No, they didn't form a welcoming committee for Dr. Dao, but committed to move forword on a Deemed-Approved Ordinance. It will come back with modifications. The council voted 5 to 0 with minimal disagreement. Even Tasha Boerner-Horvath set a new personal record for terseness by only talking 10 minutes when it was her turn to weigh in. Now if she would only slow down so the audience could actually understand all the words she utters. She still holds the council record for most words per minutes.

    Both Mark Muir and Tony Kranz flipped on their previous NO vote, along with Kristin Gaspar, to defeat the DAO the first time it came up. Muir tipped his hand early when he asked the owner of the Union bar/restaurant what he was afraid of. The owner could only stumble out a weak reply. Even Marco Gonzalez struggled to argue in support of the status quo.

    Staff received a lot of deserved praise from the council and audience. It's the first time the staff has truly worked in favor of the public, and not special interest.

  3. Good move the council should have made years ago.

  4. Maybe someone who knows more than I can comment. Reading about DAO, and trying to figure out how it works. Here's what I got:

    Historically, regulating alcohol was a preemption issue--the state owned it. Also, the conditions of a license were frozen at the time the license was granted. Any new local zoning rules (e.g. mandatory distance from schools or parks) couldn't retroactively apply to licenses already granted. Existing permits were effectively grandfathered.

    DAO, as I understand it, regulates "performance standards" which are intended to be objective standards for measuring impacts of alcohol serving establishments. An example may be number of police calls for fights, disorderly, disturbing the peace, etc on or near the premises.

    If the standards are objectively violated (by ruling of the council), then the grandfathering can be revoked(?).

    It's confusing and odd. Must be getting something wrong.

    Can anyone explain the mechanics of how it works in plain English?

    1. So what does "deemed approved" mean?

      The deemed approved ordinance is a way of regulating businesses that are grandfathered-in under older regulations. It involves defining public nuisances, for example disturbing the peace, illegal drug activity, public drunkenness, harassment of passersby, prostitution, public urination, theft, assaults, vandalism, littering, loitering, graffiti, illegal parking, excessive loud noises (especially in the late night or early morning hours), traffic violations or lewd conduct. If a business is creating the environment that leads to these nuisances then the business' permit is no longer “deemed approved” and they can be forced to get a newer permit that has stricter standards and penalties.

      If a business is following all the rules -- and the vast majority are -- then there’s nothing for them to fear from a deemed approved ordinance.

      It’s clear that the problems don't come from restaurants offering beer and wine with meals. As new restaurants open we don’t intend to restrict their ability to sell alcohol. The problems come when restaurants stop serving food and morph into bars and dance club until 2 a.m. and the consequent environment and noise that is created downtown at these hours and into the morning. The new regulations will establish noise thresholds, define what would be considered an over-concentration of alcohol serving establishments, have stiffer fines for violations like over-occupancy (right now the first violation is a $100 fine), and regulate idling party buses and the long queuing lines that block sidewalks. Right now the Planning Commission and staff don't have the tools to have an accurate picture of whether a new business will operate more like a restaurant or more like a bar.

  5. Places like the Saloon have to stop serving alcohol at 10:00 PM? That contradicts the "no one is ugly at 2 AM theory"! They will take a financial hit if that is indeed the case; but the out is that "good behavior" can allow variances to be granted.

    Did the Union ever get its permit for the outdoor patio to be opened? That was pending some sort of review. In regards to curtailing the party buses, that might be difficult. Maybe they'll limit the parking for larger sized vehicles in the immediate area to enforce that one.

  6. The despicable Union owner has not been granted an expansion to their patio yet, nor should they, unless they agree to shut down their whole operation at 10pm, or at the latest midnight.

    This owner came here from PB and it is little wonder why he has operated as he has, the whole time he has been here. That he has moved his family here after whatever he could get away with down in PB, is of little practical value. He will just move on to another community to despoil in his wake.

    If he had any conscience, he would have recognized that Encinitas is not another PB in the making. I suppose we have to thank him for waking us up. He has poked the bear and now must accept the consequences. Too bad for the Roxy, as they sold out to this same mentality and person.

    Those of us who treasure our community must be a new thing for him. This goes double for that owner of the Saloon and the Daily Double.

    The character of our downtown has been degraded, but hope springs eternal that this trend can be stopped, if not reversed.

    I would love to see these establishments be forced to close by midnight and stopped serving even earlier. Pity the party buses. Not one bit. Ban them too.

    I doubt that these party transportation vehicles would continue if the hours could be diminished enough.

    Maybe some day our young folks won't feel targeted by going downtown in the early evenings. Our downtown should be more than an opportunity to get hammered. We have had an air about our town that no other community has had, and it has been squandered by the tax incentives that the city has profited from.

    Hopefully, that is about to change, if and only if, council implements all the options that have been presented. The DAO needs more and Dennis and the ECC group can be your guide, if you chose to be genuine in your efforts.