Citizens’ group launches initiative to open Fletcher Cove Community Center in Solana Beach for special events


The Friends of the Fletcher Cove Community Center July 10 delivered to the Solana Beach City Clerk text of a voter initiative to ensure that the center is able to be used by Solana Beach citizens for special events, as promised during the fundraising drive that enabled the city to refurbish it for community use.

“Despite many opportunities to do so, the Solana Beach City Council has failed to establish rules of use for the center that would allow it to be used for civic events and celebrations such as weddings. This initiative would establish the following terms for permitted special events at the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC):

“•Special event permits could be issued for use of the FCCC on up to two weekend days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), with all events concluding by 10 p.m., including complete cleanup.

“•All special events at the FCCC would be subject to applicable Alcoholic Beverage Control rules and regulations.

“•Noise and occupancy levels at special events would be governed by regulations established in the Solana Beach Municipal Code.

“•The city of Solana Beach may collect nominal fees for the use of the center.

“•Any behavior that violates Alcoholic Beverage Control rules and regulations, State of California or City of Solana Beach law may result in the immediate closure of the special event, revocation of the special event permit, fines, or in other relevant action as authorized by the Solana Beach Municipal Code.

“For more than 50 years, the FCCC was rented for weddings and other special events before falling into disrepair in the 1990s. In 2007, the city solicited citizen funds to remodel the dilapidated center asking citizens to “Join Your Neighbors; be a part of the restoration of a major Solana Beach landmark” and promising the FCCC would be used for ‘classes, meetings, civic events and celebrations.’

“With $225,000 raised by the citizens for the $350,000 renovation project, the center re-opened in 2011. But after nearly two years of discussion, countless meetings, and nearly $32,000 spent for consultants and an environmental study, the City Council tabled the matter indefinitely at their June 12 meeting.

‘“When members of the community stepped forward to fund this center, we were promised it would be truly available to citizens for celebrations and civic events,’” said Jim Nelson, one of three Solana Beach residents who signed the initiative. “‘Instead, its use has been limited to a few classes per week, with the City Council apparently unable to lay the ground rules that would allow greater use.

“‘This initiative simply sets reasonable ground rules that respect the center’s residential and commercial neighbors while allowing the Solana Beach citizens to use this wonderful community resource.’”

The Friends of Fletcher Cove Community Center must collect 1,301 signatures – or 15 percent of Solana Beach voters – within 180 days to trigger a special election on the measure.