(Oct. 31, 2005) -- LB city management is asking the City Council at its Nov. 1 meeting to approve a "one-year pilot program to standardize entertainment hours and establish tiered operating conditions in a Downtown Dining and Entertainment District."
The proposal carries a LB public cost (depending on hours of operation selected) for additional police service estimated by management to be $543,000 or $905,000 in Fiscal Year 2006...which management proposes to cover based on "[r]evenue projections to the General Fund [which] have increased based upon the transfer of Redevelopment Agency Port-related tax increment revenue to the General Fund, which must be approved annually...These costs will add to the General Fund's structural deficit if the identified funding source is not maintained, or if an alternate on-going resource is not identified," says an agendizing memo recommending approval of the item, co-signed by City Manager Jerry Miller, Dir. of Financial Management Mike Killebrew and Police Chief Tony Batts.
The proposed district would encompass an area bounded generally by Ocean Blvd., 3d St., Pacific Ave. and LB Blvd. but would also include the Pike at Rainbow Harbor and Shoreline Village. (Hotels within the boundaries would be excluded from the District's requirements and their existing entertainment permits would apply.) The area is within Council districts 1 and 2
City management's memo states in pertinent part:
On June 21, 2005, the City Council requested City staff to work with the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), homeowner associations and other stakeholders to
develop consistent hours and operating conditions for the businesses required to have
an entertainment permit located in the downtown area. Such standardization was
thought to be possible through the establishment of a Downtown Dining and
Entertainment District (the District). In addition, the District should provide a safe
environment that benefits visitors and retail and entertainment venues while ensuring
quality of life for residents who might be impacted by the enhanced hours and operating
conditions of the District.
The entertainment venues on Pine Avenue are recognized throughout Southern
California and compare favorably with San Diego's Gas Lamp District, the 3rd Street
Promenade in Santa Monica and Old Town Pasadena. However, since each Pine
Avenue entertainment permit was brought before the City Council as a separate item
over the course of the past 20 years, many of the entertainment venues have different
approved hours and operating conditions. Over this time, unique circumstances
resulted in 42 different conditions affecting hours and conditions of operation. As a
result of many meetings with downtown stakeholders the last few months, a proposed
pilot program is recommended for City Council approval in order to standardize
entertainment hours and operating conditions.
As requested, City staff convened frequent meetings with the DLBA, stakeholders,
residents and the Police Department. Central to the theme of the meetings was that the
District should create competitive parity between the Pine Avenue entertainment venues
and those in the Pike and Shoreline Village, support residential development in the
downtown area, create a balance between retail and restaurant uses, and acknowledge
the need for consistent police presence. Discussions also revolved around noise
impacts and automobile gridlock created by cruising on Pine Avenue, options for the
periodic closure of Pine Avenue and inadequate security on the Metropolitan Transit
Authority (MTA) Blue Line trains.
The City's Traffic Engineer is working to develop solutions for the cruising and traffic
gridlock on Pine Avenue. The Police Department and Councilmember Bonnie
Lowenthal, the City’s representative on the MTA Board, are in discussions with the Los
Angeles County Sheriffs Department to increase security on Blue Line trains and are
exploring other solutions for future consideration by the MTA.
During these stakeholder meetings, many ideas were raised and discussed; discussions
were both emotional and pragmatic. Compliance with Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC)
regulations, the hours of entertainment and operating conditions, and the formation of a
community panel were items often discussed. Consensus on many of the discussion
points was reached; Attachment 1 is a set of conditions put forward by some residents
and business owners on Pine Avenue. From the initial 42 conditions imposed on
various existing entertainment permits, staff is recommending the implementation of a
pilot Dining and Entertainment District with standard conditions (Attachment 2). Best
practices from other cities were sought and are represented in (Attachment 3). The
following is a summary of selected standard conditions:
Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC)
Staff recognizes that any establishment subject to this permit is likely also the holder of
an ABC license. This state-issued license prevails over any City-adopted regulation. It
is staffs recommendation that in the event of a conflict, the more stringent regulation
should be applied.
Staff recommends the following boundary for the District: Generally, north of Ocean
Boulevard to south of 3d Street and east of Pacific Avenue to west of Long Beach
Boulevard: however, the district boundaries should also include the Pike at Rainbow
Harbor and Shoreline Village (see attached maps, Attachment 4). Hotels within the
boundaries are excluded from the District's requirements. The conditions of their
existing entertainment permits will apply.
Standard Conditions Include:
a) Noise: All aspects of a permittee’s operation, including indoor and outdoor
entertainment, are subject to the City’s noise standards, which appear in Section 8.80 of
the Municipal Code. This section is enforced by the City’s Health Department. The
Police Department will assist in enforcing the general "good-neighbor" policy expected
of every occupant of the District: Permittee agrees that the following standard is
reasonable: Noise emanating from Permittee’s premises shall not be audible from the
middle of the street adjoining the premises. Holders of entertainment permits will be
responsible for determining how to best meet this requirement, either by keeping doors
and windows shut, limiting hours of entertainment or by offering non-amplified
Indoor entertainment: Unless specifically limited due to unique conditions on
Permittee’s premises or due to exceeding a threshold for complaints, indoor
entertainment which complies with the noise standards of the Municipal Code is
permitted during the hours specified below.
Outdoor entertainment: Outdoor amplified entertainment is only permitted in
conjunction with the City’s Special Events Permit. Non-amplified outdoor entertainment
is allowed, so long as it complies with the noise standards set forth in the Municipal
Staff recommends that permittees be allowed to make business decisions regarding
how to comply with the requirements of the District so long as they operate consistent
with the District's "good-neighbor" requirements. The Police and Health Departments
will keep records of complaints, and permittees who exceed a stated threshold will be
subject to additional limitations, tiered operating conditions, all of which will be spelled
out in detail in the permit.
Each permittee will be expected to comply with stated conditions related to safety. The
Chief of Police may at any time modify those conditions or add further requirements as
he deems necessary to protect public safety.
b) Hours: One of the two following options is suggested.
(i) Indoor entertainment, amplified and non-amplified, including karaoke, shall be
allowed no later than 2:OO a.m., seven nights per week, once sufficient police
resources have been allocated to the downtown area to keep patrons safe.
Funds needed to implement this option for the District are estimated at $905,000
based on anticipated operations. This would provide for an additional police
sergeant and six officers, seven days per week. Revenue projections for the
General Fund have increased based upon the transfer of Redevelopment
Agency Port-related tax increment revenue to the General Fund, which must be
approved annually, and are sufficient to cover these costs.
(ii) Indoor entertainment, amplified and non-amplified, including karaoke, shall be
allowed no later than 12:OO midnight from Sunday through Wednesday nights
and no later than 2:OO a.m. from Thursday through Saturday nights. Funds
needed to implement this option for the District are estimated at $543,000. This
would provide for an additional police sergeant and six officers, three days per
week. Revenue projections for the General Fund have increased based upon
the transfer of Redevelopment Agency Port-related tax increment revenue to the
General Fund, which must be approved annually, and are sufficient to cover
these costs. In the future, it may be possible to expand the entertainment hours
under this option. Some circumstances that might allow for an expansion of
hours Sunday through Wednesday nights include: the implementation of a
surveillance camera system in the District; and a permittee may apply for a
Special Event Permit for occasions such as conventions, and annual attractions
such as the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Gay Pride Week
celebration. If this second option is adopted, staff recommends that
entertainment venues in the Pike and Shoreline Village be allowed to operate
under the current hours of their entertainment permit.
c) Term: Staff recommends that the District be established 'as a one-year pilot program
that would sunset without an affirmative vote of the City Council. Staff will submit a
report on the status of the program six months from the approval by the City Council
and again at the time extension of the program is considered. Additionally, the City
Council may modify the regulations through an ordinance change at any time during the
life of the program.
It is also staffs recommendation that the DLBA organize a Community Advisory Panel
for the District. The panel is recommended to be composed of representatives of the
business community, property owners and residents. Appropriate City staff would be
made available to serve as liaisons to this panel. Staff envisions the panel meeting on a
regular basis to share information on issues pertaining to the District, including
compliance by entertainment permittees with the District regulations. Observations and
recommendations related to violations of entertainment permit conditions may also be
made to the Long Beach Police Department.
City Council action is requested on November 1, 2005, as new entertainment permits
for downtown establishments have been delayed until the City Council could consider
implementation of a downtown dining and entertainment district.
Depending on the hours of operation selected, the cost for additional police service is
estimated to be $543,000 or $905,000 in Fiscal Year 2006. These costs will add to the
General Fund's structural deficit if the identified funding source is not maintained, or if
an alternate on-going resource is not identified.
GERALD R. MILLER
DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
ANTHONY W. BATTS
CHIEF OF POLICE