City May Strike Bowling Alley's Alcohol Permit


A Glendale zoning administrator is scheduled next week to consider whether to revoke the alcohol and video-game permit of a bowling alley that some nearby residents say is a hangout for youths looking for trouble.

The hearing next Wednesday was prompted by a series of complaints, beginning in April, by Dan Stubbs, president of the homeowners association at Heritage Townhomes, a condominium complex located behind Verdugo Hills Bowl in La Crescenta.

Stubbs said the parking lot of the bowling alley is a popular meeting spot for young people looking for parties. He said residents of the condominiums are assaulted by noise, litter and the sight of men urinating in the lot.

A city inspector sent to investigate the complaints found some technical violations of the bowling alley's conditional-use permit, such as poor landscaping, but no serious problems, said Senior Planner Byron Foote.

Still, Foote said, the city scheduled the revocation hearing to give the residents an opportunity to voice their opinions.

"During the summer months and weekends, the neighborhood rowdies come here to see where the parties are," Stubbs said. "Once they get a handle on the parties they leave, but while they are here all hell breaks loose."

Stubbs, whose balcony looks out onto the parking lot, said bowling alley management has contributed to the problem by failing to keep a security guard in the parking lot.

Foote said the bowling alley's conditional-use permit requires a security guard to be on the premises from 5:30 p.m. until closing, but that the guard does not have to be in the parking lot at all times.

Alley manager Jean Maluccio, who is currently in escrow to buy the facility, said there has been a security guard at the bowling alley most of the time. Maluccio also denied that problems in the parking lot have been as serious as neighbors contend.

"We don't want riffraff here," she said. "We wouldn't allow it. It's a family center."

Maluccio characterized Stubbs as a lone crusader who is obsessed with watching the bowling alley and who overreacts to the slightest incident.

"We try to keep it up very well," she said. "We patrol it. I feel that we are doing everything that we possibly can, but I don't think we will ever please this man."

Maluccio said bowling alley management spent "well over $30,000" to hire security guards and to install a device to prevent cars from exiting the parking lot into the public alley behind the condominiums.

The city inspector's report said a guard was found on duty during two inspections in April. The guard told the inspector that the guard service had been halted for a week in early spring because the bowling alley was having a cash flow problem, but the problem was resolved and the guard service resumed.

Foote said the bowling alley was the subject of frequent complaints several years ago but that conditions there had improved markedly.

"It's been cleaned up tremendously," said Judy Seelig, who lives in the unit next to Stubbs and also faces the bowling alley. "The kids hang out there, but not nearly as much as they used to. By the time I go to bed, it's generally very quiet."

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