Fullerton nightlife backfires

There is an interesting article in the L.A. Times regarding the transformation of Fullerton’s downtown into a raging nightclub scene. Apparently the changes have not exactly been entirely positive. On the one hand the restaurants, bars and nightclubs in downtown Fullerton are a huge hit with O.C.’s young people. On the other hand, the city is having real problems with drunk drivers, fighting and vomiting in the streets. Sounds like New Orleans’ Bourbon Street.

The city tried to fix the nightlife issues by assigning four police officers to the area and by enforcing a moratorium on new liquor licenses for six months. But, as the Times reported, these fixed did not work. Even worse, for O.C. snobs, it turned out that the problem people are NOT from Fullerton, or even from the O.C. in many cases. They hail from the 909 and L.A. Who knew?

Here is the interesting part. All of these troubles are now costing Fullerton $1.5 million a year for fire, police and maintenance. The sales tax revenue however is only $560K. Where I live, in Santa Ana, our city officials tried to pull a Fullerton by establishing an Artists Village. Of course they undermined the scene they were trying to create by making tattoo parlors, massage parlors, and hookah bars illegal. Nevertheless, now we have empirical proof that changing a city’s downtown along these lines is not always worth it to the bottom line.

Recently the Fullerton City Council decided to get a handle on things by passing a new ordinance that “calls for noise limits inside and outside establishments, tighter security, shorter wait lines and conditional-use permits for restaurants that transform into nightclubs after 10 p.m.,” according to the L.A. Times.

The unintended consequence of this ordinance is that it will likely kill the Fullerton nightlife, or at least put a serious hurt on it. I supposed that is the goal. I have a feeling that the party crowd will just go somewhere else. Maybe Anaheim? Or Brea? Certainly not Santa Ana, unless they are either very brave or very foolhardly. Who wants to brave gangs, carjackings and drive-by shootings just to have an evening out?

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.