The Pacific Beach Planning Group is throwing a party on Monday, June 14, at the Pacific Beach Middle School Auditorium. The theme of the party is alcohol, and attendees are asked to bring their own concerns about booze. The bash will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a presentation that explores the policy of issuing alcohol licenses in Pacific Beach and the impact that alcohol has on the beachside community. Partygoers will be informed on the number of licenses in their community, land use policies, and establishing a role for the community in terms of alcohol licensing.
According to a draft summary report issued by the Alcohol License Review Committee, a planning group subcommittee, there are 17 bars, 76 restaurants, and 40 liquor stores in Pacific Beach. After adding up the additional 23 licenses that are given to businesses listed under the category "Other," the beachside community has 155 alcohol licenses. The report, which according to committee member Scott Chipman took six months to compile, reveals that according to the state's Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) guidelines, Pacific Beach has 89 more alcohol licenses than are allowed.
One of the issues in Pacific Beach is the number of bars that are licensed as restaurants. "P.B. has only 17 bars, but it has many more restaurants that function as bars, particularly after 10 p.m." This business practice is called 'morphing,' the report states. "The owners commonly call their restaurant a bar. Some applicants for restaurant licenses have indicated they want to open a 'bar' with a [full alcohol license]. Restaurants that close their kitchen at 10 but remain open until 2 a.m. are operating as bars for 4 hours each night. There are no ABC regulations that prohibits morphing."
The report also reveals data regarding alcohol-related crime in Pacific Beach.
"There were 591 DUIs in 2009 in the 92109 zip code - Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. This means that about 18 percent of the total San Diego DUIs (3714) are occurring in communities with about 4 percent of the city's population."
Planning group members will discuss the report and hear input from community members at the June 14 shindig.