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Observatory North Park to pay $90K over 'chronic nuisance' issues, city attorney says

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Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 20:17:27-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A popular North Park concert venue has agreed to pay $90,000 worth of fines and reimburse the City of San Diego $50,000 in police investigation costs.

The operators of Observatory North Park agreed to pay the penalties after City Attorney Mara Elliott filed a complaint against the venue on July 3.

The complaint alleged the venue's operators were maintaining a public nuisance and operating without required permits.

The city attorney's office added that the Observatory has become a source of local complaints for, "noise, violence, teenage drinking, public intoxication, public vomiting, and the accumulation of trash, debris, and human waste."

“The Observatory has long dragged its heels on correcting violations that would protect the safety of its patrons and North Park community residents,” Elliott said in a release. “Its managers have agreed to begin following the law, and if they don’t, our Office will be there to hold them accountable.”

The building also includes West Coast Tavern next door, which shares restrooms and bar areas with the theater.

Between January 2015 and May 2019, San Diego Police received 174 calls to the venue, leading to 500 hours of overtime, the office said.

The operators of the North Park venue agreed to address criminal activity and nuisance complaints and obtain all required permits. The venue's mezzanine and balcony will also remain closed until building permits and code violations are addressed.

If the Observatory fails to comply with the terms of the agreement with the city, another $150,000 in fines will be issued, the office said.

The lawsuit is the latest issue in the city's battle with the venue. In 2018, the venue was shut down for alcohol and safety violations.