ENCINITAS — A private social club in Leucadia will receive the permit to serve alcohol to its members despite the City Council’s stalemate on the vote.
The City Council voted 2-1 to deny the appeal of the neighbors, who fiercely argued against granting the Leucadia Club’s request for the license, but failed to reach the quorum required to deny it as a body.
Three members are required to vote on the issue, and with the council already short one due to a vacancy on the board and newly elected Councilwoman Tasha Boerner Horvath having to sit out the vote because she was on the Planning Commission that decided the issue in August, the council’s vote Wednesday night had to be unanimous.
Councilman Mark Muir, however, voted in favor of denying the permit request, citing the cumulative impact of the licenses being approved in the vicinity on the surrounding neighborhood.
“I try to put myself in the neighborhood’s position,” Muir said. “I tried to look at the legal impacts and the unintended consequences of making a decision of no regret.”
As a result, the decision of the planning commission stands, which upheld the permit request in August.
Mayor Catherine Blakespear and Councilman Tony Kranz sided with the planning commission, which voted in August to grant the permit to the club, located off of Leucadia Boulevard and Coast Highway 101, which bills itself as a club where career-minded people can gather to network and brainstorm ideas.
The club’s owners urged the council to uphold the commission’s decision, arguing that they were trying to be good neighbors and were following all of the rules.
The appellants, neighbors Scott Carter and Tim Calver, argued that the request for an alcohol license and permit were directly counter to the club’s original approval in 2014, which prohibited alcohol at the club.
“We were assured that alcohol was not going to be an issue, and low and behold, here we are,” Carter said. “The proposal is to circumvent the original resolution…to me that is morphing…we are changing the intent of their business into something that was specifically addressed that the couldn’t do in the future, yet here we are.”
Calver, a high school journalism teacher whose home is accessed by an alley behind the bar, spoke about the impacts another liquor license would have on property value, the peace and quiet of the surrounding neighbors and the precedent it would set for future businesses.
“I hope no other residents are put into a corner like this, having to appeal and attend meetings for the right to peace, quiet and safety,” Calver said. “These are issues that no resident should have to come beg their city for.”
Originally, the club sought a less restrictive license, but the planning commission postponed a vote to allow the club to apply for a Type 57 license, which only allows alcohol to be served to members and guests, as opposed to the Type 42 license they applied for initially, which allows for any adult to come and buy alcohol.