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Huntington Beach : Amendment Establishes Nightclub Buffer Zones

Nightclub owners who want to set up shop in Huntington Beach will have to find a location with buildings or other buffers between their clubs and residences.

A code amendment passed by the City Council Tuesday requires that the clubs have buildings, flood-control channels or utility easements at least 100 feet wide or parking lots at least 200 feet wide as buffers. The action will not affect existing businesses.

Jim Palin, the city’s development services director, said the amendment is a response to complaints about several local nightclubs from neighbors who cite such problems as noise, trash and public urination.

“It’s generally a noise problem. The noise level inside is usually quite high, so when people come out, they don’t realize that they’re still talking at a shout,” he said.

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Palin said speeding vehicles are also a concern. Nightclubs using parking lots as a buffer will have to set up controlled parking areas at night.

The city is seeking an injunction in Orange County Superior Court against one club, Garfield’s Nite Spot, which had its operating permit temporarily revoked last December and which has been the focus of complaints from neighbors. The intent of the suit is to force the club’s owners to prevent the noise and trash problems, Deputy City Atty. Robert Sangster said.


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