Beach Alcohol Task Force: Consensus Action Items

June 4, 2007 No Comments

From October 2006-June 2007 Councilmember Kevin Faulconer organized the Beach Alcohol Task Force. Comprised of community members from Pacific, Mission and Ocean beaches, the task force sought a holistic approach to solving issues surrounding alcohol in the beach communities. At each monthly meeting, local experts and the public spoke on various topics, including on-sale and off-sale alcohol licensing, neighborhood house parties, crime statistics, the CAPP program, Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) and others.

Members of the Beach Alcohol Task Force reached consensus on a number of items during its May 21 and June 4 meetings. The following is a list of the items. Items headed in red (13 of 23) are ones most related to the local business district, alcohol licensees and related issues:

1) Fund Additional SDPD Officer Patrols
Explore funding options for additional police officers in Mission and Pacific beaches. Options include private donations from members of the Hospitality Task Force and funding through a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD).

2) Beach-Specific Neighborhood Code Compliance (NCC) Officers
Seek funding for additional NCC officer(s) to patrol beach area businesses and look for possible code violations, including proper signage, proper permits for construction and entertainment, possible noise violations, all neighbor and constituent complaints regarding businesses, and other code violations as necessary.

3) Implement Administrative Fines in Beach Communities
Through a six month pilot program, police in the College area can fine homeowners, renters, and party hosts an administrative fine of up to $1,000 per incident for a violation. Although this program was anticipated for beach areas in 2007, the task force requests immediate implementation.

4) SDPD: Out of Cars and Into Bars Program
Uniformed officers patrol the streets and visit on-sale establishments, showing presence and familiarizing themselves with establishment’s staff. While two Northern Division officers began this program in early March 2007, the task force recommends doubling the number of officers.

5) Continue/Expand Beach Area Community Court
The Beach Area Community Court, administered by the San Diego City Attorney’s office, is one of the most successful programs of its kind in the country. The community court allows eligible adult offenders to attend a community impact panel and perform community service in lieu of traditional sentencing. The Beach Alcohol Task Force reached consensus on locating funding to continue and expand the program in the beach areas.

6) SDPD: Bicycle Patrol in Beach Areas
Request uniformed officers to patrol beach-area business district streets on bicycles during peak days/times, such as summer weekends. The increase in police presence serves as a crime deterrent and facilitates open dialogue between local business owners and SDPD.

7) DUI Kits for All Patrol Cars
Purchase breathalyzers for all Northern Division patrol cars; currently not all patrol cars have this technology. Pacific Beach Town Council’s Safe and Beautiful Committee is interested in raising funds for the breathalyzers.

8) Security Cameras in Pacific Beach
Seek funding to install security cameras along the boardwalk, Crystal Pier and Garnet Ave. to facilitate increased police observation. A live camera feed will be observed by officer from a central point in the beach area allowing more police coverage without additional manpower. Mission Beach is currently installing cameras. Pacific Beach cameras will share technology with these existing cameras.

9) Mandatory Security Plan Submittal for All On-Site Liquor Establishments
Require on-sale liquor establishments to submit detailed security plan every two years for police to review. The security plan will include security personnel general requirements, provisions and plans for emergencies and staffing during regular business hours and special events.

10) Crime Statistic Information Gathering by SDPD
Compile baseline statistics for the beach areas, including number of officers patrolling on foot, bicycle, in streets, and on sand. Compile arrests by time occurred and number of police present in area; use baseline data for statistically valid year-by-year analysis.

11) Public Opinion Baseline Survey
Conduct statistically valid public opinion poll regarding San Diego citizens’ opinion of the beach areas. Conduct annual survey to gauge movement in public opinions.

12) Promote Taxi Cab Use Through Incentives
Increase taxi-only curbs stands during the hours of 12:00 and 2:30 a.m. and allow taxis to charge a small surcharge for short fares. The beach areas have a need for additional taxis during peak times, including the early morning hours of Thursday, Friday and Saturday when the local bars close. The number of people requesting taxis exceeds the number available.

13) Designated Driver Program in PB
Create designated driver program in the beach areas to promote sober driving. Possible tactics include in-house establishment promotions such as free appetizers, free entrance and identifiable wrist bands for designated drivers.

14) Drunk Driving Education Program
Institute an anti-drunk driving campaign. Tactics include using posters located at on-sale establishments (similar to those mounted on bathroom stall doors, etc.) and sponsored outdoor billboards.

15) Concise Web Page with Pertinent Enforcement Phone Numbers
Create District Two Web page containing links, important phone numbers and “who to call” flow charts related to law enforcement, code compliance questions and other alcohol-related issues.

16) University Participation for Student House Parties
Request increased participation by the three major universities, San Diego State University, University of San Diego and University of California San Diego, in outreach programs for local students. Outreach programs include university representatives visiting students who received noise/nuisance violations, universities reflecting arrests on a student’s academic record and increased awareness programs for incoming freshman and transfer students.

17) Increase Number of Beach Team Officers
Increase beach patrol officers during summer months in Pacific and Mission beaches to handle increased crowds; explore creative funding sources to finance.

18) Increase Trash Receptacles
Increase number of trash receptacles to ensure beaches, boardwalks and bayside parks remain free of trash.

19) Concrete Barriers for Lifeguard Emergency Routes
Increase number of concrete barriers used to denote lifeguard emergency routes during peak summer months. The increase ensures an unobstructed path from the boardwalk to the ocean for safety personnel.

20) SDPD Trailer in Pacific Beach
Position SDPD trailer in Pacific Beach once every three weeks to increase police presence in Pacific Beach. Current SDPD trailer location is in the south Belmont Park parking lot in Mission Beach; Pacific Beach location will be on Ocean Boulevard in dirt lot at west end of Oliver Street.

21) Increase Seasonal Restrooms
Install restrooms in Ocean, Mission and Pacific beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Current number of bathrooms is not sufficient for summer crowds.

The following items were added in the June 24, 2007 meeting:

22) Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
Consensus reached to discuss a possible Conditional Use Permit (CUP) in implementation committee

23) Beach Family Zones
Consensus reached to discuss possible family zones in implementation committee

Alcohol Task Force, Beach Ordinance, MM, Solutions

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