Neighborhoods Want to Regulate Party Zones

Residents in Pacific Beach, North Park and Hillcrest worry about public drunkenness, fights and crime

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    Residents currently living in neighborhoods with nightclubs are considering a new strategy to regulate bars that can get out of control.

    Pacific Beach, North Park and Hillcrest are some of the areas where residents worry about public drunkenness, fights and crime.

    On Tuesday, PB residents held a rally advocating change in their neighborhood.

    Former UC Berkeley Professor Friedner Wittman pioneered the use of community planning to prevent problems related to alcohol sales.

    Wittman said it's important for a community to work with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to enact Conditional Use Permits. These permits would require a public hearing before the sale of alcohol.

    "The ABC grants licenses to sell alcohol, and the city grants use permits where those sales will occur," Wittman said. "So those two things have to go hand-in-hand and be properly coordinated so they do not create neighborhood safety problems and disruptions that hurt the quality of life and hurt the local economy."

    Bars that break those regulations risk losing their licenses to operate.

    Wittman said the City of Ventura is one area which has successfully drawn up and utilized Conditional Use Permits.

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