By Kristina Houck
Solana Beach residents will now be able to host larger parties with fewer restrictions at Fletcher Cove Community Center.
With all nine precincts counted, Proposition B was adopted by nearly 52 percent of voters Feb. 11, according to unofficial election results released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters. The measure received 1,720 “Yes” votes and 1,593 “No” votes, easing restrictions on private parties at the facility, which overlooks the ocean at 133 Pacific Ave.
Solana Beach resident Mary Jane Boyd — who helped put the initiative on the ballot along with former Solana Beach Mayor Thomas Golich and resident James Nelson — said she was “overjoyed” with the election results.
“It has restored our faith in the democratic process,” Boyd said. “When the council would not listen, we needed to send them a message. The only way we could do it was through the initiative process. … They are elected to represent all of us, not just those few. I hope they have that message.”
Deputy Mayor Lesa Heebner said she was disappointed with the election results.
Because she and her fellow council members opposed the initiative, the Solana Beach City Council on Nov. 6 unanimously voted to call a $200,000 special election instead of adopting the use policy.
“Unfortunately, Solana Beach voters were flooded with inaccurate information by the Prop. B proponents, so they weren’t able to make the right decision tonight,” Heebner said in an email. “I’m disappointed in the results and do not look forward to the future taxpayer expense that will be caused by the passage of this proposition.”
For more than two years, the issue has divided the community between Solana Beach residents who want to rent Fletcher Cove Community Center for private events and community members who fear adverse impacts from parties.
After months of debate and negotiations, the Solana Beach City Council on Aug. 28 adopted a use policy for the center that permitted no more than one private party every other weekend. It limited parties to 50 people, restricted live music and limited alcoholic drinks to two per person.
Members of the Friends of the Fletcher Cove Community Center wanted a less restrictive policy, so the group filed a voter initiative with the city on Aug. 27 to loosen rules at the site. Now approved, the measure allows up to two parties each weekend at the 1,100-square-foot center. The new policy allows 100 people at events with live music and no limit on beer and wine except what’s already written into California’s Alcohol Beverage Control rules.