Fletcher Cove Community Center Voter Initiative effort to continue
Friends of Fletcher Cove Community Center are continuing their effort to collect signatures. The voter initiative is the only legal process open to the residents of Solana Beach in order to obtain reasonable use of the Community Center. Based on more than 1,000 signatures obtained in less than one week, it is clear the voters want to exercise their right to make a decision on this issue.
The citizen’s voter initiative protects the long-established character of the neighborhood in which the Fletcher Cove Community Center is located. It does this by use of the rule of law. The municipal code for residential zones governing noise, parking and behavior will be enforced. No hard liquor will be allowed and the city resident(s) sponsoring the event will be legally and financially responsible.
After the voter initiative was launched, the Solana Beach City Council called a special meeting on Aug. 7 and quickly put in place some restrictive rules for a “trial period.” After two years of not making a decision, these temporary regulations simply kick the issue down the road until after the next city council election. There is no guarantee of what will happen after December 2014.
A summary of what the City Council is willing to permit during a trial period with no guarantee is:
The Community Center may be used only two days per month, excluding holidays, resulting in possibly only 16 events per year; the number of attendees at each event is limited to 50 people which includes caterers, musicians, security guards and bartenders. Alcohol is limited to a maximum of two glasses of wine or beer per person over a six-hour period and a City-approved bartender is required to monitor the number of drinks served. Additionally, a City-approved private security guard is required for all events. Microphones, amplifiers, DJ’s are not allowed. Parking on public streets will be restricted. The rental of the room does not include the use of the adjacent patio and small lawn area.
The voter initiative sets very reasonable conditions in order for residents to enjoy the use of the Community Center for private family celebrations.
It allows full use of the facility with the number of people attending to be determined by rules established by the City’s Fire Marshall. It does not impose restrictions on access to the adjacent patio and lawn area.
The initiative assumes that Solana Beach adults will drink responsibly and imposes no restrictions, except prohibiting the serving of hard liquor.
It imposes no restrictions on the type of music beyond the decibel limits specified in the Municipal Code.
It imposes no restrictions on parking except those specified in the Municipal Code. It recognizes there will be fees for cleaning and liability insurance but calls for nominal fees for maintenance which are already paid for by taxpayers.
In summary, the voter initiative sets very reasonable conditions in order for all Solana Beach residents to continue to use and take full advantage of the facility as they have done for the past 50 years.
“It is clear to me,” said Jim Nelson “that the City Council’s proposal is overly restrictive, not user friendly and designed to discourage residents from using one of the most unique and special community assets in the City. We want the long-standing established City ordinances to govern noise, parking and use of this facility.”
According to Mary Jane Boyd, “We object to these unprecedented special rules and new guidelines established by the City Council. We will continue to collect voters’ signatures and go forward with the initiative process until the Council is willing to listen.”
Submitted by Jim Nelson on behalf of the Friends of Fletcher Cove Community Center (FFCCC).