Solana BeachCouncil virtually closes Center


In June 2013, Solana Beach City Council closed the Fletcher Cove Community Center (FCCC) for private events. After receiving criticism and an Initiative to overturn that policy, Council passed a “Compromise Policy” in August that reflects agreements between Council and the neighbors who wanted the Center closed. But this “Compromise” did not offer anything to the other residents of the community. This new policy contains severe restrictions that have resulted in the Center virtually being closed for family celebrations. The restrictions in this policy are:

•Before the renovation, capacity was 60 people for table seating, 127 without tables. Absent an objection from Council, the Fire Marshal reduced this to 50/100. Council further cut this to 50 people for all events and required caterers, musicians, security guards, etc. must be counted as attendees. Thus the effective capacity now is closer to 45.

•Only two private events may be scheduled per month.

•Overturning both a policy in effect since 1992 and the FCCC design guidelines, you cannot set aside a portion of the lawn or patio or carry a drink outside.

•Two drinks max. A champagne toast counts as #1, and you may not have more than one glass of beer or wine for #2.

•A glass of beer or wine cannot be served after 9 p.m.

•A party of 45 requires both a City Certified Security Guard and a City Trained Bartender.

•Music must be inside, peripheral outside sound must be monitored, nevertheless D.J.s, horns, drums or amplifiers are not permitted.

•Service clubs and charity organizations cannot have an Alcoholic Beverage Commission sanctioned cash bar.

•Musicians and caterers must have a $110 annual City business license.

These restrictions have resulted in only two events being booked in the four months since the policy was adopted. Thus with weekend utilization just 4 percent, it is fair to say the facility virtually has been closed for private events.

While outpaced by $280,000 of private contributions and a $50,000 grant from the County, still $70,000 of your tax dollars were used to refurbish the Center. And your tax dollars pay the $5,000 annual maintenance costs for a facility where Council’s restrictions effectively prevent you from using it for family celebrations. If this bothers you, vote for Prop B which will overturn the Council’s Current Policy and fully reopen the FCCC to Solana Beach residents for private events.

Jim Nelson

Solana Beach