There are many PB residents and businesses working towards real change in the alcohol-culture of Pacific Beach. Click here to view the Civic Groups that meet regularly on the issues.
There are also many ideas that have been introduced which could be tools our community can use to develop future relationships with alcohol-related establishments as well as city and state government officials. These are not as painful as some alcohol licensees would have you believe. They are fair and balanced. Some ideas include:
The Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
One solution is San Diego establishing a citywide uniform CUP such as one engaged in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles. San Diego already has an off-sale (package stores) CUP and an on-sale CUP in our southeastern district and in the Downtown CDC. All we are asking for is our taking a look at these existing solutions, how we recommend the funding is provided (by the industry) and who would actually do the enforcement on a local level.
Community and Licensing Body Toolkit – This program has enabled Ventura County officials to develop customizable agreements with each alcohol-licensee to fit the needs of the establishment, county, city and local residential community. Communities like this plan because it helps them establish fair rules and even-handed enforcement by ABC and city-trained police officials.
Alcohol establishments don’t like the CUP because they claim it places unfair restrictions on their ability to generate sales, to resell their business and, ultimately to make profits. Yes, we care about our businesses but, are they here to serve our city or for us to serve them?
To learn more click here.
Beach Alcohol Task Force recommendations
The Beach Alcohol Task Force was created in Fall 2006 by Councilmember Kevin Faulconer to address the growing alcohol-related issues in the beach communities. The primary take-away from this group was the creation of many recommendations, many yet to be implemented as the community’s focus shifted towards the alcohol-free beach issue.
An implementation committee began working on rolling out these solutions and this effort was largely de-railed as the Labor Day riot on the beach took the front burner. Since this was the work of business and community members from PB, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach – we could do well to begin moving these ideas forward once again.
Here are the final recommendations of plausible solutions.
Maintenance Assessment District (MAD)
The business district ‘representatives’ at DiscoverPB claim all the answers to our woes revolves around establishing a Maintenance Assessment District or MAD. Here, businesses (and many residents if the BID had their way in 2008). This new business tax, which the bars had no problem supporting would’ve raised funds to do many things from cleaning sidewalks to hiring ‘security ambassadors’ that looks like the plan was to have their responsibility largely patrolling Mission Blvd. to keep the riff-raff from the tourists (during the day).
The bigger issue is this issue isn’t about clean sidewalks (even though I would love nothing more). It’s about having sufficient community voice, having the businesses who are the nexus of the problem working under clear rules and punishments if they are not followed. It’s about having these same businesses pay for the bulk of the problem’s solutions. And, it’s about not taxing residents to help the business district’s biggest problem makers clean its mess up.
We don’t need a MAD. We need a BID that is working hard to spend the $150,000 the businesses already pay into a special fund, and the other funds raised from grants, fundraisers and donations to do this work. Let’s see that work done properly before adding another tax on our struggling businesses (read: the non-alcohol businesses). Here’s a satirical MAD alternative and an opinion from another San Diego community struggling with their MAD.
What are your ideas?
What solutions do you recommend? We’d love to hear from you.