• Planning Comm. OKs changes to Clubhouse hours

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    The Pacific Grove Planning Commission, in a special session Feb. 9, approved the mitigated negative declaration and subsequently the Use Permit for the City to extend the hours at the golf course clubhouse to 10:30 at night. John Bridges, the attorney for the “organized opposition” appeared to be satisfied with the result and gave commissioners a literal “thumbs up.”

    Commissioners had termed them “organized opposition” in order to be able to allow them more time at the microphone during public comment.

    Mitigations centered around lighting of the parking lot and the sound levels of music.

    Non-amplified and amplified music and live entertainment are currently prohibited under the terms of the Clubhouse’s on-sale beer and wine license, which actually took its lead from the restrictions in place on the Clubhouse at the time it was issued. The new agreement will allow both non-amplified and live music and entertainment indoors, during business hours, subject to certain decibel levels which will be measured and affirmed using Pacific Grove Police Department equipment. The wording in the findings was amended to say that the noise level can’t exceed what’s allowed in the City’s General Plan in any event, but will be restricted to 90 decibels or less at the north interior wall and decreasing to 44 decibels at the property line. The ocean, it was noted, can be measured at 66 decibels so it is hoped that 44 decibels for music will be a sufficient restriction to satisfy neighbors.

    There are three houses, perhaps up to five, on Del Monte Blvd. which could be affected by lighting in the parking lot. The lighting presented both commissioners and the “organized opposition” with particular problems because there are legal requirements around how much light is necessary for safety reasons, but there are other standards for “Dark Sky” lighting coupled with the rise, or slope, of the parking lot and the resultant angle of the lights as compared to those few houses across the road.

    A five-foot fence exists and recent photos show that it should be sufficient to prevent light pollution into the houses. But commissioners suggested the fence be made higher and light-proofed, as well as camouflaged with foliage.

    Exact dimensions will likely be the subject of tests and plans for golf course staff who will probably be tasked with building the fence at the least cost possible to the city.

    A number of people still took their three minutes to comment against the extended hours and accompanying mitigating suggestions, but it was clear from the results of the 120-day test so far, which were part of the accompanying reports given to the public and the commissioners, that nearly 60 percent of the public polled were in favor of the new hours. It is still unclear whether the project will wind up as a ballot item or even in court, but the next step will be to take the design plans to the Architectural Review Board. From there, the recommendations of the Planning Commission and ARB will go to the City Council.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on February 11, 2012

    Topics: Front PG News

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