After a deadly shooting in Chula Vista near an already-troubled nightclub, dozens of people supporting both angry residents and the business owners came out to a community meeting Wednesday.
Councilwoman Patricia Aguilar hosted the meeting at the Chula Vista Police Department regarding Diamond Jim’s Nightclub, located near Third Avenue and K Street.
The goal of the meeting, according to Aguilar, was for people to listen to each other.
“[Patrons] argue and fight. They have sex out there in the street,” exclaimed one neighbor who lives nearby.
“Every time I pull up, there are red cups and bottles of liquor. My brother picks up bras and cellphones,” said another woman whose mother lives in the area.
Neighbors, city officials and police have said problems associated with the club have persisted for years, long before the current owners took over in September 2015. The issues worsened in November when a deadly shooting occurred nearby.
The bar owners said the crime had nothing to do with the bar but neighbors disagreed.
Police told NBC 7 on Wednesday, they could not comment on the shooting because it was an active investigation.
Owners Veronica and Cesar Aguilera told the room they wanted to be given a chance to work with the community.
“Talk with us. We’ll work with you. We’ll have meetings with you,” said Cesar Aguilera. “Up to now nobody talked to us. We made efforts with the police department and we are still going to make efforts to see what we can do better.”
Aguilera said he’s put up barriers near the liquors stores. He’s changed drink prices and prevented people from coming back into the business if they left after a certain time.
He said he’d even pay for a year’s worth of parking permits for the neighbors if they decide to go down that route in the future.
Conversations between the owners and the community are ongoing.
Currently, the owners are in the process of acquiring the previous owner’s liquor license for the business. They have a temporary one for the time being.
City officials said comments from the meeting could have an impact on the process.