City of Solana Beach Fletcher Cove Community Center Special Use Permits, Proposition B (February 2014)

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A City of Solana Beach Fletcher Cove Community Center Special Use Permits, Proposition B ballot question was on the February 11, 2014 election ballot for voters in the city of Solana Beach in San Diego County, California, where it was approved.

Proposition B amended the Solana City Charter to allow special use permits to be issued to city residents for private use of the Fletcher Cove Community Center and the adjacent patio and lawn areas.[1]

Election results

Proposition B
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,720 51.92%
No1,59348.08%
Results from San Diego County Registrar of Voters office

Text of measure

Ballot title

The following was the ballot title of Proposition B:[1]

An Ordinance of the City of Solana Beach, California, Amending Title 11, Chapter 11.40 of the Municipal Code to Allow for Special Use Permits to be Issued for the Fletcher Cover Community Center

A YES vote on this measure means:

A "yes" vote is in favor of amending the City's existing municipal code to allow the special event permits to be issued for the FCCC subject to the conditions outlined above overriding the existing Council policy regarding community rentals.

A NO vote on this measure means:

A "no" vote is against amending the City's municipal code, which would leave in effect the City's existing ordinances and policies for special event permits issued in the City.[2]

Analysis

The following analysis of Proposition B was provided by the City Attorney Johanna Canlas:[1]

The measure proposes to amend Solana Beach Municipal Code (SBMC) Chapter 11.40 by adding Section 11.40.140, which would authorize the issuance of special event permits for use of the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC) by residents for private events. Should the measure pass, it will override and supersede City Council Policy 23 related to the community rental use of the FCCC, and it will prevail over any inconsistent special event permit policies and procedures as set forth in Chapter 11.40 or by Council policy.

Currently, the FCCC is one of two community centers in the City of Solana Beach and is used for the City's recreation program, for adult education classes through the San Dieguito Adult School, and non-profit sponsored community events. Resident- sponsored events are allowed subject to City Council Policy 23.

Under the measure, a special event permit may be issued to Solana Beach residents for the use of the FCCC and the adjacent patio and lawn areas for private events, including, but not limited to, meetings, classes, and celebrations. The issuance of special event permits for resident-hosted events would be allowed for up to two of the three days per weekend (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday).

A special event permit for the FCCC, under the measure, would be issued for a nominal fee. The special event application fee is set by the City's User Fee schedule. The current permit cost is $50 for City residents. The measure will override the existing limits placed by the City Council on alcohol consumption, noise, frequency and occupancy during special events at FCCC. Instead, the permitted events at the FCCC would be subject to any applicable rules of the Alcoholic Beverage Control for the service of wine and beer and any applicable noise and occupancy regulations in the SBMC.

Under the measure, all private events must be concluded, including the cleanup for such events, by 10:00 p.m. The measure also provides that any violation of the laws and regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control, the State of California or the City of Solana Beach would result in the immediate closure of the event, revocation of the special event permit, fines, or any other action authorized by the SBMC.

Should the measure pass, the City Council will not have the ability to change the provisions of SBMC Section 11.40.140. It may only be amended, revised, or repealed through a vote of the people.

The measure provides that these changes to the SBMC would become effective immediately.

A "yes" vote is in favor of amending the City's existing municipal code to allow the special event permits to be issued for the FCCC subject to the conditions outlined above overriding the existing Council policy regarding community rentals. A "no" vote is against amending the City's municipal code, which would leave in effect the City's existing ordinances and policies for special event permits issued in the City.[2]

Support

SolanoBeachYesOnB.png

Supporters

The official campaign in favor of Proposition B was called Yes on B.[3]

The following people signed the official arguments in favor of Proposition B:[1]

  • Jim Nelson, Curator Solana Beach Heritage Museum
  • Mary Jane Boyd, Former Solana Beach town council member
  • Thomas J. Ryan, Member Condominium Organization of South Sierra Ave.
  • Mary L. Berend, 44 year resident
  • Celine A. Olson, Former Solana Beach City Council Member/Mayor

Arguments in favor

The following arguments were provided in favor of Proposition B:[1]

Yes on Proposition B - put the "community" back in the Community Center. The City allowed Fletcher Cove Community Center to fall into disrepair. Financial support was solicited from residents for the renovation, and they generously contributed over $250,000.

For two years, Council debated various proposals for citizen rental of the Center.

Then in June 2013, the City Council "indefinitely postponed" any further consideration of a rental policy. This was in response to objections by a small group of local residents - political allies of the council - who had concerns about parking and traffic.

Only after this occurred did a group of concerned Solana Beach citizens draft this Initiative. Contrary to claims by opponents, the Initiative does not remove the City's authority to protect public health and safety. It simply restores the historic uses of our Community Center.

Because of this Initiative effort, Council enacted a so-called "compromise." The new rules are so restrictive only one special event was scheduled during the first three months.

In October 2013, the City Council commissioned an independent report on Initiative impacts. This report concluded "there are not expected to be adverse impacts ...(on) parks, traffic, parking, open space, business retention or ... business districts." But the City Council didn't discuss this report in public until AFTER they scheduled the special election.

In spite of its own consultant's conclusion, the City Council chose not to adopt the initiative and instead spend $200,000 of your tax dollars on a special election.

Your tax dollars and voluntary contributions created a unique ocean front Community Center for use by the entire community.

Now a small group of vocal residents are trying to restrict your use and enjoyment of it. Preserve your right to use a community asset that belongs to all of us.[2]

The campaign website for Yes on B had the following arguments in favor of Proposition B:

All Prop B does is require the City to have a policy for community use of the Community Center, and prevents the City Council from taking the Community Center away from all of the citizens of Solana Beach, like it successfully did for two years until Prop B was launched.

The Council can’t defend its failure to act, so they now claim Prop B will totally tie their hands and prevent them protecting public health and safety – but that’s just not true. With Prop B, the City Council retains all of the power it now has to protect the health and safety of its citizens, including the power to permit specific events and to set conditions consistent with local and state law. The City Council is completely aware of this fact.

Preserve access to our Community Center – Vote Yes on Prop B so that the City Council cannot take away our Community Center again, effectively giving control of the Center to the neighbors as an extension of their private property.[3][2]

Opposition

Opponents

The following list of people signed the official arguments against Proposition B:[1]

  • Thomas M. Campbell, Deputy Mayor
  • Lesa Heebne, Councilmember
  • David Zito, Councilmember
  • Peter Zahn, Councilmember
  • Mike Nichols, Mayor

Arguments against

The following arguments were provided against Proposition B:[1]

Do you want repeated and costly elections to fix public safety problems that arise from Prop B? Of course not! Vote No ON Prop B!

There is an existing City Policy that allows private parties at the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC)!

We agree private parties at FCCC are an appropriate use. But parties must be fairly regulated to ensure public safety, minimize conflicts with nearby businesses and neighborhoods, and preserve our limited beach access parking. Prop B ends this fair regulation!

FCCC is a small meeting room in a residential neighborhood at the beach. It has only 2 parking spaces (handicapped only). It's already used Monday through Saturday, 135 hours each month, for classes, meetings and civic events, as it has been for the past 50 years. The current rules effectively manage any impacts generated from these uses.

The City Council protects our community by ensuring development and uses are appropriate and don't cause harmful impacts to existing neighborhoods or businesses. In that spirit we enacted a Compromise Policy that allows weekend private parties at FCCC and balances the concerns of those who want to rent FCCC, the people who use the beach and parks, shoppers and diners along Highway 101, and the residents who live in the area. AND it can be adjusted when necessary without an election!

Prop B changes City codes to greatly intensify usage by adding two parties every weekend with unlimited alcohol, live bands, and 100 guests when the demand for weekend parking is at its highest. The Council won't have the authority to fix the problems that arise from the impacts of Prop B. Another costly election is required.

The Compromise Policy isn't perfect. But it's flexible and adjustable by the Council. Don't set the rules in stone...Vote No on Prop B![2]

See also

External links

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Suggest a link

Additional reading

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Smartvoter.org, San Diego County, California, February 11 election information, accessed January 15, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yes on B website, accessed February 10, 2014