City of Hermosa Beach Postmidnight Business Hours, Measure B (November 2013)
|Not on ballot|
If approved, this measure would have phased in earlier closing times for restaurants and bars in the downtown area, which, without Measure B, have closing restrictions on a case-by-case basis. The measure would have required the changing of closing times from Sunday through Wednesday to 12:00 A.M. over five years and the changing of closing times from Thursday to Saturday to 1:00 A.M. The measure was put on the ballot by initiative petition.
- These final, certified results are from the Los Angeles County elections office.
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Shall an ordinance be adopted to incrementally, over a five-year period, reduce the postmidnight operating hours of specified businesses in the downtown area of Hermosa Beach?|
The full text of the ordinance that would be approved by Measure B is available here.
Proponents said that measure B would create a fairer balance between the business community and the residential community and put a stop to problems with rowdy and loud activity downtown at late hours. Those supporting Measure B also said that it was essential to eliminate the need for the disproportionate police presence in the downtown area, distracting from the needs of other portions of the community. Measure B supporters cited data that shows the 6-1/2 block lower downtown region is only 2% of the City's land area but generates a 25% of police calls.
ElectionForum.com endorsed Measure B.
The Hermosa Beach Council opposed this measure and argued, in the official voter guide arguments, that a "one size fits all" solution is not the best way to go and that the city takes appropriate steps to regulate closing times for businesses that cause problems.
The council also pointed to the possibility of expensive lawsuits over possible property rights violations contained within the initiative ordinance.
Below is the full text of an impartial analysis prepared by the city attorney:
Current city law allows by right restaurants that do not serve alcohol or that serve beer and wine only and close by 10:00 p.m. Restaurants and bars that serve alcohol or stay open past 10:00 p.m. are given individual closing times by conditional use permits ("CUP") issued on a case-by-case basis. The city also offers certain incentives in operating conditions if a restaurant voluntarily reduces its post-midnight hours. Hours of most other types of businesses are not regulated.
The Measure would amend the Hermosa Beach General Plan, zoning ordinance and zoning map in order to establish new closing times for downtown businesses that are zoned C-2, with some exemptions. The new closing times for non-exempt businesses would be phased in over a period of one to five years beginning in April, 2014. Closing times Sunday through Wednesday would be gradually reduced from 2:00 a.m. to 12:00 Midnight over a five-year period. Closing times Thursday through Saturday would be gradually reduced to 1:00 a.m. over a one and a half-year period. The city Council could designate up to five nights per year when downtown businesses could stay open past these new closing times.
The proposed new closing times would be imposed through a new "Time Restricted (T-O) overlay zone" on properties located in the C-2 zone within the "downtown" area of the City, defined as the area between 8th and 16th Streets and between the Strand and Manhattan Avenue. Existing incentives encouraging voluntary reduction in late night hours for alcohol-serving businesses would be unavailable to restaurants and bars in the downtown area until April 1, 2018.
The Measure would apply both to new businesses and to existing businesses regardless of whether they have CUPs that permit post-midnight hours or have no specified closing time. Eighteen restaurants and bars in the downtown area are permitted by CUP to operate until 2:00 a.m. or are unrestricted as to hours by the City. Although the Measure is not restricted to restaurants and bars, its primary impact will be on those uses, as few other businesses in the downtown are open past midnight. The application of the proposed ordinance to existing businesses with post-midnight operating hours raises fact-specific legal questions that may be resolved differently for individual businesses on a case-by-case basis.
The new closing times would not apply to these exempt businesses: lodging (motels and hotels), emergency medical facilities, parking lots, business offices and stores that sell alcohol for off-site consumption.
A "yes" vote favors adoption of the ordinance. A "no" vote opposes adoption of the ordinance. A majority of "yes" votes is required for the measure to pass. If adopted, this ordinance could not be changed or repealed without voter approval.
Below are videos of selections from council meetings in which council members discuss issues relevant to Measure B:
- Smartvoter.org, California, Los Angeles County ballot measure information
- the Beach Reporter, "We Get Letters: For the week beginning October 3," October 2, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- ElectionForum.com November 5, 2013 election recommendations