SLO approves excessive drinking regulations

May 16, 2012

The San Luis Obispo City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to endorse new rules to be placed on bars and restaurants serving alcohol after 11 p.m. Councilwoman Kathy Smith dissented. [Tribune]

New establishments will now be required to procure a conditional use permit that requires the businesses to have a manager on-site when entertainment is performed, install a video surveillance system at all entrances and exits, and provide alcohol service training for employees.

Existing businesses will not be required to obtain the new permit unless it is determined that the business is not operating responsibly. The determination will include input from the Downtown Association and an administrative hearing officer looking at businesses that fail to operate safely or have nuisances such as litter, public urination and unruly behavior.

Under the new rules, an establishment found to have committed repeat violations could lose its grandfathered status and would then be required to obtain the conditional-use permit in order to continue operating.

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Maybe there needs to be a taxing district unique to Downtown SLO? Hit all bars 10x. Use it to fund porta-crappers and vomit troughs running along the fronts of all bars in Downtown SLO?

Contract with a private service to provide the porta-crappers. No more of those cutsie taxpayer-owned crap-trailers which must be frightfully expensive to haul around and maintain.

A plus on the headliner sports. Is this excessive regulations for drinking or regulations for excessive drinking? Ow, my head hurts, I’m gonna get a drink.

Sounds like this one was written by the existing bar ownership group. Only applies to new businesses, not to the ones that created the problem? What, at all does this do to address the existing problem, maybe a promise from bar owners to behave to some degree in exchange for more red tape for new competition? And what’s with including new restaurants serving alcohol? Are we addressing the completely unrelated, less official downtown “restaurant problem” with this regulation? I hate to think bad, overpriced tourist traps downtown would not face new competition because they couldn’t serve a beer or glass of wine after 11 pm. The State and the City have different license classifications. Use them . Let’s start with just the bars. This is a ridiculous PR exercise at best, otherwise motivated at the worst. I hope Kathy Smith stays on the Council forever. She’s a long-time resident with no axe to grind who lives in a mobile home park (though a very nice one). P.S. I have only followed Ms. Smith’ council record, never met her, and only know where she lives because The Trib posted a picture of her house on the front page.

The City of SLO spent in excess of $250K to build some public bathrooms on Broad Street between Higuera and Marsh Streets. They have been closed for years because their brain-dead design (so highly touted when they were built!) made them easy targets of vandalism.

Why doesn’t the City Council expend some actual thought and a few bucks (more of the former than the latter) and re-configure them so that they can be used without being abused? This step alone would do a great deal to clean-up the toilet that Downtown San Luis Obispo has become.

This total waste of taxpayer money was actually given an award by Obispo Beautiful Association:

Letter of Recognition

New Construction/Civic

Public Restrooms

City of San Luis Obispo

1100 Broad Street

Architect: Fraser Seiple, AIA

Builder: Maino Construction Co., Inc.

Art Work: Randy Augsburger, Mark Jepson

You’d think this architect would have know how to design a restroom that was resistant to vandalism! Isn’t that the sort of expertise they are paid for? What a sad joke at taxpayer expense…

Ease up dude. First a quarter mil is cheap for a public facility. And they had the best intent. Like the ones in Mission Plaza from the 80’s intended for visitors to a popular public area. Vandalism and misuse were not anticipated to the extent realized. More cops, more cameras. As long as the images are not misused they can video me taking care of business and shaking thrice.

$250K for what’s sitting there is a rip-off. I wouldn’t be saying a word if they were actually FUNCTIONING as restrooms. Instead they sit there, locked and forgotten. A lot of people have best intentions but those who were paid $$$ to design the facility and those paid $$$ to approve the facility should have actually used some of their well compensated expertise to realize they were going to get thrashed. They get paid to “anticipate” what’s going to take place. They dropped the ball. They failed. There’s no getting around that.

The worst part is that with about $500.00 in materials (a few partitions, signs and lock changes) and a little ingenuity (which may not exist within city management) the restrooms could be reconfigured so they could actually be used.

These restrooms are a monument to why people hate government.

The city council is completely misguided if their goal really is to reduce “litter, public urination, and unruly behavior” downtown rather than just milk downtown businesses and patrons for more money.

For example, public urination occurs because there are ZERO public restrooms in the downtown area that are open at night and none of the bars allow patrons back in to use bathrooms after 1:15am or so. This year during St. Patrick’s day, the downtown association put out several portable toilets and guess what… ZERO public urination incident/tickets were reported. Why isn’t getting public restrooms part of the city plan if they want to reduce public urination? Oh that’s right, public urination tickets generate revenue for the city, public bathrooms don’t…

Similarly, the city of SLO has limited the number of taxis and taxi companies it allows downtown, so there is almost always a severe shortage of taxis to transport people from the bars. This leads to fights for taxis and encourages irresponsible behavior.

If the city really wants to deal with the problem, they should study what works in bigger cities like Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

This doesn’t really address the current establishments which contribute the most to the problem. but then again theses places are owned by, or buildings they are in are owned by, council members, family or friends of council members. Any proposal that really wants to help with a problem has to address those currently in the group effected by a proposal, and not just on the future members.