News

City Council approves controversial alcohol ordinance

The Walnut Creek City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a controversial nuisance ordinance that will hold all alcohol-serving

establishments in the city to the same standards, a city spokeswoman said.

City officials said the ordinance will give city leaders more control over problem bars, such as those that consistently over-serve patrons or are venues for violence and other criminal activity such as vandalism.

Any business that repeatedly violates the regulations could be subject to a hearing before the Planning Commission, which would decide

whether to place additional restrictions on the establishment.

City staff said the ordinance levels the playing field for all businesses in town that serve alcohol, since many such establishments were

exempt from regulations adopted in 2004 that tightened nuisance rules.

The new ordinance, which makes all bars subject to the 2004 rules, was approved in the wake of a series of violent brawls at downtown bars.

The council's vote also followed months of opposition from local bar owners, many of whom say the new law infringes on their rights, is

unnecessary and could hurt their businesses.

Bar owners again voiced their opposition to the ordinance for about an hour during Tuesday's meeting, city spokeswoman Gail Vassar said.

A group of about 15 alcohol-serving business owners joined together earlier this year to form the Walnut Creek Hospitality Group, which threatened in February to sue the city if the ordinance passed.

A lawyer for the group could not immediately be reached for comment this morning.

City leaders have said that the vast majority of Walnut Creek bar owners should not be concerned by the new ordinance, since it will only penalize businesses that consistently violate nuisance-based standards.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Trish Hamilton
a resident of Danville
on May 3, 2012 at 7:06 am

This is ridiculous! More rules! More regulations! Let us be free! Stop punishing EVERYONE for the actions of a few! I believe we ALL have a right to enjoy visiting an establishment and it's horrible that these poor business owners and their customers are going to be paying the price...

If a few customers get rowdy, then use them to set an example. Have them serve the community through mandatory volunteering (LOL!) and allow them to give back to the community so they can attain a new perspective and perhaps allow them to gain a better understanding of what it means to contribute to a good cause and be part of a strong community.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on May 3, 2012 at 7:47 am

Good for WC for trying to keep their lovely city safe. I don't see how these regulations would harm any business that doesn't create an environment that endangers the public. If you can't behave like a civilized human being, don't come here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of San Ramon
on May 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Good for the Walnut Creek City Council. Why should tax payer dollars be used to clean-up the fallout from irresponsible bar owners. It is the city - citizens that should sue the bars.

Has anybody heard of Tips Training?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2012 at 9:02 am

For those of you who don't realize, most of the cost of an alcoholic beverage in a bar is TAX. They are taxed by pour count, so if a bar over pours, then they lose money. The money collected through this taxation helps the entire community.

Patrons will simply move outside of Walnut Creek to consume their beverages and then commute longer to go home. You're not changing the behavior of the individuals causing the problem - you are ONLY damaging the businesses and communities.

Who do you think owns the bar? An individual in the community so as you're concerned about your "safety" in Walnut Creek, please be aware that you will now have MORE individuals coming home from other destinations where they have over-consumed driving back INTO Walnut Creek. Gee!... I hope no one gets hurt!...

Another good item out of this new regulation is that we'll have much more open store fronts available downtown. I'm pretty sure that those who disagree with me don't own businesses, are probably the folks that pay NO federal income taxes… or as I like to refer to them as "the 50%ers because ½ of our population doesn't pay Federal income tax so why should they be concerned with happens in the government. It doesn't cost them a dime! And for those that don't understand accounting, payroll tax is NOT income tax. Income tax is levied on top of payroll tax.
I'm sure these people don't frequent these establishments so they have no context as to what actually occurs.

Next, they'll start banning dancing, gathering in groups, and free thought... They're already trying to take our free will.

I'm not a religious person and I've never read the Bible, but I understand it much better now when they say: "the meek will inherit the Earth." That means lesser intelligent human beings scavenging like dogs. If you want to know what that looks like, then talk to the two folks above...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by ARD
a resident of Danville
on May 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

to "concerned Citizen" of Danville.
I suppose you consider YOURSELF an intelligent human being and anyone that disagrees with you is a scavenging dog. I had to read your raging rambling twice because your intelligence gets in the way of writing a legible comment that makes grammatical and contextual sense. I would not have wasted my time to reread, but I was trying to locate any fiber of intelligence or logic or actual facts.
Maybe you should frequent out of the area bars, and while you are at it, get an education and learn to write.




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