Booze-ban test faces council vote

May 24, 1990 No Comments

Kathryn Balint. San Diego Tribune. San Diego, Calif.: May 24, 1990. pg. B.1

Booze would be banned for six months at La Jolla Shores, Kellogg Park and North Park Community Park under an experiment endorsed by a San Diego City Council committee.

The test prohibition must be approved by the full City Council before it takes effect.

The council is tentatively scheduled to consider it June 5.

Blaming alcohol use for rowdy and raucous behavior, residents living near some beaches and city parks have asked the council to enact a prohibition.

A majority of the council voted in December to ban alcohol at all beaches and parks. But after City Hall was flooded with telephone calls and letters and the council chamber was packed with opponents to the proposed prohibition, the council said it would look for less drastic measures to curb alcohol-related crimes.

Yesterday, three members of the Public Facilities and Recreation Committee voted for the ban to see how effective it is. Voting were council members Abbe Wolfsheimer, John Hartley and Judy McCarty. Councilmen Bob Filner, chairman of the committee, and Bruce Henderson were absent.

The proposal calls for a ban at the two parks and the beach. However, organizations holding parties of 75 or more people may be exempted from the prohibition by getting a special permit from the city. The exemption procedure was included so that responsible drinkers attending office parties and other get-togethers would be allowed to imbibe.

For months, Wolfsheimer has been urging a ban on alcohol at La Jolla Shores beach and the adjacent park, Kellogg Park. She said her office has gotten numerous complaints from nearby residents who are fed up with drunks at the beach and park and loud boozy parties in the public parking lot.

North Park Community Park, an inner-city park, has also been plagued with alcohol-related problems in the last few years, said George Loveland, director of the city Park and Recreation Department. He said people are using alcohol in the park day and night, resulting in arguments between residents and gangs in which police must be called to restore order.

Bob Moore, a Mission Beach resident, asked the council to ban booze in his neighborhood, where he said drunks abuse and offend law- abiding citizens who just want to enjoy the sun and surf.

He called Mission Beach “a city-made bomb” and said it is about to explode from the rowdy behavior there.

Supporting the ban was John Berol, chairman of the La Jolla Shores Association, a neighborhood group.

“Drunken crowds threaten public safety and health at the beach,” he told council members yesterday, explaining why booze should be banned. “Other beaches up and down the coast have already improved public safety by banning alcohol.”

In Pacific Beach, resident Ray DiCiccio said his wife is afraid to walk on the beach by herself, fearful of the alcohol drinkers, marijuana smokers and gang members who hang out there. “It’s scary,” he said.

Among those opposed to a booze ban was William Shreiber, speaking for Beer Drinkers of America, a group that he said has 4,000 members in San Diego, and Linda Jo Hardison, owner of a convenience store in La Jolla Shores.

Credit: Tribune Staff Writer

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