SOLANA BEACH, Calif. - People in Solana Beach will head to the polls next month to determine how private events should be handled at the Fletcher Cove Community Center.
Citizens gathered enough signatures to hold a special election for Proposition B. Supporters want residents to be allowed to hold private parties at the center with fewer restrictions.
Peter House and his wife are longtime residents of Solana Beach. They helped pay for the center's renovations, and now, they are putting up nearly $60,000 to support the "Yes, on Prop. B" campaign.
More information on Prop. B: http://bit.ly/1c7SA59
"We came here to give back to the community. I mean this is her home, her mother and father were very active here, we decided we'd try and help too," House told 10News on Tuesday evening.
Just like it is many evenings, Tuesday night, the community center was closed and dark.
"It's really not being used and it should belong to the community," said resident Gary Garber.
The current use policy has several restrictions including a two-drink maximum and a security guard for private events. Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Lesa Heebner says the city is willing to work with residents to make things more flexible.
"We put in a two-drink maximum for a party, and you know, it's a starting point, what we're looking at is seeing how that goes, and we'll move forward with that if it's possible," she said.
If Prop. B passes, there would be fewer restrictions on alcohol or the number of events held. Heebner said that has caused problems in the past.
"One of the reasons that the parties were stopped in the '90s was because of the problems, public disturbance problems with too much alcohol," said Heebner.
She said residents who live close to the center are worried about noise, alcohol use and parking.
"What the Prop. B has is unlimited alcohol, and this is in an area overlooking a bluff, near a children's playground in a neighborhood," said Heebner.
The center's use policy is not the only concern. Heebner points to the $200,000 of taxpayer money that will pay for the special election.
"What Prop. B does, it imposes a use policy for the Fletcher Cove Community Center that cannot be changed except through another expensive election," said Heebner.
House and other Prop. B supporters said the city left them with no choice.
"I'm sorry we're in this situation now. We had a couple of thousand people who asked them to take the initiative, and another thousand who asked them to not do a special election, and yet, here we are with $200,000 of taxpayer money, too bad," said House.
Voters will have their say during the special election Feb. 11.