Prop B: Tempest in a Teapot

I have followed the shenanigans brewing around private party use of the Fletcher Cove Community Center since the dedication ceremony celebrating the remodel of the facility in March 2008. Approximately 80 people attended that event. The FCCC was packed to the gills that day, inside and out, standing room only. As a professional event planner, longtime Solana Beach resident and involved community member, I advocate allowing Solana Beach citizens the right to rent and use the facility for private events. In fact, my name was included on the initial request encouraging our City Council to allow use of the FCCC for private events. However, I cannot support the flawed and ill-conceived Prop B.

I will vote “No” on Prop B. I hope that you will, too. Our City Council worked diligently to craft a reasonable compromise policy. I believe they met their goal this past summer when they established a use policy for private rental of the FCCC. This policy balances the desires of those wishing to rent the facility while mitigating possible negative impacts that might result from rentals to the public’s access and enjoyment of the beach, park area, children’s playground, residences and businesses in the surrounding neighborhood.

If you haven’t visited the FCCC, I encourage you to do so. This small but lovely building currently averages 130 hours of events per month. Due to size, it is primarily used for classes and meetings. Prior to August 2013, rental of the facility for private events had not been allowed for more than 15 years. The facility is located in a residential neighborhood. It contains one ceremonial room, has two small restrooms, no kitchen facilities, and only two parking spaces — both designed for handicapped use.

A “tempest in a teapot” is an idiom meaning a small event that has been exaggerated out of proportion. I question their motivations and I am appalled by the behavior, misleading statements and lack of honesty presented by the small, seemingly angry group that invented this Prop B mess. Many of these same people exhibited similar questionable behavior in our recent City Council election.

Before casting your vote, I urge you to study the facts. Be informed. The compromise policy our City Council enacted encourages responsible use of the FCCC. Today, Solana Beach residents can rent the facility for a nominal fee. We can have as many as 50 guests at each event. Our guests can drink alcoholic beverages and they can listen to music. And, yes, there are rules about the amount of alcohol, length of parties and acceptable noise levels. But isn’t that what “responsible use” means?

Please join me and vote “No” on Prop B.

Jewel Edson