Neighbors in Pacific Beach trying to stop Denny's from getting liquor license

Save PB fighting to keep more bars from opening

SAN DIEGO - A group of neighbors in Pacific Beach is trying to stop Denny's from getting a liquor license.

The restaurant, which is located on Mission Boulevard at Garnet Avenue, wants to join a short list in the chain that serves beer and wine. 

"This really isn't about Denny's. This is about more and more family restaurants getting alcohol licenses and then turning into bars or bar-like restaurants," said Scott Chipman. 

Chipman has lived in Pacific Beach for 38 years. He and other members of the organization "Save PB" are fighting to keep more bars from opening in their area.

"More and more family restaurants are turning into frat bars, sponsoring pub crawls, bar-like restaurants and those establishments are generating the crime," said Chipman. 

Chipman points to a 2012 Census study that details that crime. According to the report, there were 1,339 arrests in Pacific Beach, nearly six times the citywide average.

Of the arrests, 993 of them were alcohol-related, which is more than 22 times the citywide average. 

Plenty of other people say booze is not to blame.

"Denny's not having or having a liquor license isn't going to affect that one way or another," said Pacific Beach resident Doug Kinzey.

Karen Delorenzo said, "You're either a drunk criminal or a sober criminal. You're just a criminal and I don't think alcohol contributes to that one way or another."

But Chipman believes there needs to be more local control.

"The only solution to this is with land use policy. It's what other cities have done and all over California get, local control," said Chipman. "That will give the police more control. That will put more scrutiny on more applications for new alcohol licenses by the communities."

The local board of the Alcoholic Beverage Control denied the liquor license, but Denny's is appealing to the state. 

Attorneys for the restaurant will appear before an administrative law judge Wednesday morning. Several residents are expected to voice their concerns. 

According to Chipman, the state granted 12,000 new liquor licenses in 2011 and denied four.

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