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Night clubs and banquet halls

By Matt Artz
Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 at 5:44 pm in Uncategorized.

I’ve written recently about how the struggling Globe development, which aspires to be Fremont’s Epcot Center, wants permission to open a nightclub on the site, much to the dismay of city officials.

Turns out the Globe folks also want to build a banquet hall across the street at 40500 Albrae, which is off of Stevenson Boulevard, just south of I-880.

The 19,000-square-foot hall would be available from 7 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. At nighttime it could be rented out for parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs and the like. Their application, which is still incomplete, doesn’t specify how many party-goers would be allowed inside the building, which will be a refurbished furniture store, or whether they want a liquor license.

Meanwhile former Argus reporter Barry Shatzman, who rumor has it was bar mitzvahed at the 1975 Maryland Atheist Society convention, has a story out today about the Globe’s nightclub effort. It covers a lot of the same ground as my old stories, but it does a better job of giving the perspective of the prospective night club operator, or at least her attorney. To read it click here.

The club will be seeking a use permit at next week’s planning commission meeting.

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  • WS resident

    Matt, went to that website and it was a mess. I could not find that article just some boring ramblings about Bush and calendars. Maybe it is not optimized for PDA’s. Just wanted to pass that on if others are having trouble

  • Californiaguy

    The Fremont Chief of Police “STECKLER” and the Mayor and City Council have decided for us, to eliminate any possibility of any kind of night life in Fremont.
    They have done this by passing a rushed Ordinance with broad powers to the Police Chief and many restrictions that make it financially impossible to operate a entertainment facility in Fremont.
    Compliments of the five AYES. Your Fremont politicians at work

  • Doug

    I read Shatzman’s story and went to the linked story giving stats on the FPD. In part:

    “The number of square miles that make up Fremont: 92.
    The number of police officers patrolling them on most nights: 9.

    …less then 1 officer for every 1,000 residents, Fremont has lowest ratio of officers to residents of any city in the United States having more than 200,000 residents.”

    Now add a 32,000 seat stadium and not use revenue from it to take care of public safety. Go figure.

  • Gus Morrison

    Californiaguy – As I understand it, staff asked for an emergency moratorium ordinance halting any night club application processing while standards were established to set controls on such establishments. That ordinance was turned down 5-0, permitting applicatons to be evaluated against existing ordinances and standards.

    I can recall problems with just about every late night use in Fremont. People have talked about Club Mango and the Bean and the Beat. Over the years there have been many others. I would guess the only exception is the Saddle Rack. There are major problems when you mix alcohol with immaturity and peer pressure.

  • Dirk Lorenz

    Hi Gus,
    I so appreciate your perspective…as I also recall the history of the Beat and the Bean (remember the pictures of individuals blocking Fremont Blvd and Peralta…some armed?) and the troubles we have had with Club Mango (only police issues during the Festival of the Arts for many years) I also remember being passed up as an applicant for planning commission in favor of Lydon and King (great choices by the way) I look back on the appointment of Councilperson Natarajan, and in hindsight, know it was the best choice. My point is that I am a different person now as compared to back then, insofar as my understanding of the variety of issues that a planning commissioner (or city council member for that matter) must contemplate when making a decision about any land use or CUP’s. (PC makes land use decisions…) In the case of Sutro Lounge (the nightclub proposed for the Globe) we recieve our packet of information (this happens the Friday prior to our Thursday meeting) prior to the last PC meeting. The item was continued, as ongoing discussions between City staff and the applicant were ongoing, as the applicaton was being evaluated against existing ordinances and standards.
    I worked late several nights reading the material provided and contemplating both the issues of concern to the applicant as well as those of our police department and city planners. Our job, as you know, is to sit as judge and jury, unbiased, and render a decision based on those ordinances and standards …along with any findings during the public hearing. On one hand, I contemplate how business friendly our city is, on the other, I think public safety remembering our experiences from past nightclubs. It bears mentioning…as Doug mentioned earlier… that our police department has a lot of ground to cover. The other night as I was heading home down Central…I counted 15 police cars at an apartment complex on Central. I could not help but think how the rest of our city was unprotected at that moment. If there is an “issue” at any place where you mix alcohol with immaturity and peer pressure (max occupancy is over 1,000 in this case)think of the problems a city might have responding to an event. Therefore, as your planning commission considers this application, (or any application for that matter) we will reflect on past experience, asks probing questions, listens to public comment, learn of the applicants experience and rely on our staff report (which represents 100′s of hours of work on the part of the planner) to render a decision. We will have a city attorney present to make sure we conduct ourselves in a fair and unbiased manor and according to the law. That is our reality. I am positive it is the same for the council. You know better than I in the case of council. I sometimes get irritated by jaded comments about our city staff or our council and commissions. Some it earned…granted. Yet… most is not, in my opinion.

  • Dirk Lorenz

    Sorry…correction…the nightclub project is called “Sutra Ultralounge” and it is on the agenda for the planning commission meeting scheduled for Feb. 12th, 7 pm in council chambers.

  • Doug

    This is a grab from a cursory search of articles relating to the city of San Jose dealing with late night problems downtown:

    - Recent city efforts are more aggressive with permit compliance, code enforcement and closing down some downtown bars and clubs.

    - The city has sanctioned a late-night practice of using large numbers of police downtown on weekends, with most paid overtime, to help close the entertainment zone.

    - More regulation waits in the wings, including a downtown nightclub tax to pay for police, noise monitors and new downtown zoning restrictions.

  • dirk lorenz

    I hear so often how this city is not business friendly… and sometimes when regulations/ conditions are imposed, or project denied, it is interpreted as being just that. Yet, if you have the time, google “nightclub tragedy”…and read the stories. It’s no wonder there is as much concern and contemplation over such applications. It’s Saturday morning and I have spent the last 3 hours reviewing additional information and conditions being imposed upon this applicant to make sure that Fremont never has a story that will be found under nightclub tragedy.