ENCINITAS, Calif. - Encinitas residents say their downtown is turning into a Pacific Beach-like atmosphere with partying and drinking spiraling out of control. On Wednesday night, they asked the Encinitas City Council to do something to fix it.
"It's dirty, it smells, people are foul-mouthed," one Encinitas resident told the council.
"Public urination, noise levels from people screaming and yelling in the parking areas. Drug use, activity, sales," said another.
Residents say public drunkenness has also become a major problem in the downtown area, leading to wild behavior that they want to see stopped.
"These people are now using my planter boxes as their bathrooms," said a resident. "It's not very nice when I go outside and say, 'Can you please not do that,' then they offer to fight me."
Another added, "I don't like walking around with a bunch of drunk people. This is toxic to our kids."
Residents say a moderate number of bars are fine so long as they conduct business in a way that does not harm residents or individuals.
However, they say not enough is being done to fix the problem they say is spiraling out of control. They asked the city council to come up with a plan of action to help put this problem to rest.
"We have waited a year and we would really like the action to come as soon as possible," a resident said.
The city council voted unanimously Wednesday night to bring back a moratorium and something they could vote on at a July meeting.
In the meantime, the sheriff's department says they are giving the Encinitas bar scene as much attention as possible and will be conducting one-on-one meetings with all 34 drinking establishments to keep them on their toes.