Huntington Beach

Longer hours for bars, eateries eased

HUNTINGTON BEACH City Council on Monday night approved a resolution which would make it easier for some downtown businesses to stay open later (OC Tribune photo).

By Jim Tortolano

 A plan to make it easier for some downtown businesses – primarily bars and restaurants ­ – to stay open later was approved by the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday night.

The council voted 5-1-1 in favor, with Jill Hardy against and William O’Connell recusing himself.

The resolution could make it easier for businesses with alcohol beverage sales and live entertainment to deviate from current conditions, as well as add muscle to the process of permit revocation.

Currently, only the city council has the power to allow a business to deviate from the conditions. Under the resolution, the planning commission and zoning administrator would have that power.

The intent of the change would be to ease “hardships” of businesses that have been operating with longer hours before the most recent requirement of closure at midnight.

Several residents spoke in opposition to the resolution, arguing that the downtown area already had a problem with “too many” businesses with liquor licenses, a situation that allegedly contributed to higher crime rates in that area of the city.

On a 5-2 vote, the council rejected the appointment of Mark Bixby as the representative of the Ocean View School District to the city’s Community Services Commission for a term to run through June 30, 2018.

Several people spoke during public comments including the nominee’s wife, and OVSD board member John Briscoe. Some spoke in favor of Bixby and other opposed.

The proposed staging of a community meeting within 90 days to address resident concerns about airport noise issues was pulled from consideration. The idea had been submitted by Mayor Barbara Delgleize and Councilman Patrick Brendan.

The next meeting of the council is set for Monday, Aug. 21.

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