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PREVIEW: Council Revisits Downtown Alcohol Policy Tonight

Originally created in 2009, Campbell City Council is taking a second look at the Downtown Alcohol Beverage Policy.

The Campbell City Council is holding a study session tonight, 6 p.m., July 19 in council chambers to discuss the current Downtown Alcohol Beverage Policy and whether or not changes should be made to it.

The Downtown Alcohol Beverage Policy was adopted in 2009 in response to concerns about the increasing amount of police enforcement needed downtown late at night to deal with issues related to alcohol, such as drunk in public, driving under the influence, fighting, illicit behavior and vandalism.

According to the city council memo on tonight's study session, in 2010 there were 5,814 calls between 11 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. made to Campbell Police for service. More than 9 percent of these were in the downtown.

Only 19 percent of those arrested in the downtown are Campbell residents.

Currently, there are six establishments that have approval to serve alcohol until 2 a.m. and one that may serve alcohol until 1:00 a.m. Total, there's about 529 people on any given night in the downtown at these establishments:

  • : Total occupancy: 140
  • : Total occupancy: 129
  • : Total occupancy: 125
  • : Total occupancy: 95
  • : Total occupancy: 40

and also are allowed to stay open until 2 a.m. but choose to close at 11 p.m.

One current pending application for late night operations is for a 500 total occupancy, which, if approved will double the number of people in the downtown late at night.

The current policy, according to the memo released with the council agenda  includes the following:

  • Strongly discourages new, stand-alone bars, nightclubs and lounges;
  • Establishes 12:00 a.m. as the latest closing time for new restaurants that serve alcohol;
  • Requires restaurants to provide food service with alcohol service;
  • Places restrictions on live entertainment;
  • Limits bar seating in restaurants to 25 percent of total seating;
  • The policy applies to applications for new establishment and to existing establishments that apply to intensify or expand their late night service.

Now, the council is revisiting the policy to see if some of these should be amended or removed. New businesses and/or developers in the downtown, particularly at the former Gaslighter Theater and Odd Fellows Hall, may plan on applying for conditional use permits to allow the sale of alcohol at their sites, so the study session is timely.

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