Panel still unsure on alcohol banJune 6, 2007 No Comments
Chet Barfield. The San Diego Union – Tribune. San Diego, Calif.: Jun 6, 2007. pg. B.4
SAN DIEGO — Everybody’s for more bathrooms. But you want to ban drinking at Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and/or Pacific Beach? Prepare for a rumble.
At what was supposed to be its final meeting Monday night, a 14- member advisory panel called for more restrooms, police patrols and other alcohol-control measures in the coastal communities represented by San Diego Councilman Kevin Faulconer.
But Faulconer’s Beach Alcohol Task Force — reflecting the fierce divide within those communities — deadlocked over a drinking ban on any or all three beaches, even if only on the Godzilla of party holidays, the Fourth of July.
The group will meet one more time in coming weeks to debate whether to recommend a booze-free family zone near the Ocean Beach pier and possibly other beach areas.
“I’m looking for consensus, the things we all agree on,” Faulconer told the audience of more than 100 at Pacific Beach Middle School. “I’m not surprised that the passions run as high as they do.”
After eight months of community input about bars, house parties and beach revelry, the task force has come up with 22 recommendations for Faulconer to pursue. Most will require the help of police, the Park and Recreation Department or other city departments. Police officials attended Monday’s meeting, pledging to do their best to meet the requests.
The panel took an hour of tug-of-war testimony from dozens of residents before tackling its push for final recommendations. After easy agreement over restrooms, trash cans and security, the group — composed of pro- and anti-ban members — disagreed on whether drinking should be barred on Independence Day. Disagreement was greater about a year-round ban.
In the end, the panel tabled one last item that Faulconer thought might elicit a compromise: a proposal to ban drinking on the sands between Ocean Beach’s pier and lifeguard tower, creating a family zone that could be replicated in problem areas of Mission Beach and/ or Pacific Beach.
Credit: STAFF WRITERBeach Ordinance