Late-night eateries face crackdown
Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist
Published: Friday, May 04, 2007
Victoria is cracking down on late-night eateries whose rowdy patrons cause problems in the downtown area.
When people from bars and pubs spill onto the street at closing time, some congregate outside the fast-food operations, leading to complaints about fighting, noise, littering and urinating in the street. In Victoria, 2 a.m. is the latest a bar can stay open but -- depending on its licence -- some are required to close earlier.
Victoria councillors agreed Thursday to amend the Nuisance Bylaw so the city can restrict the hours of food operations that are the subject of complaints. The city will also instruct police and bylaw officers to monitor late-night food vendors and target those who don't control customers.
"This is not a silver bullet," said acting mayor Charlayne Thornton-Joe, adding the amendment would give enforcement officials another tool to work with.
She also pointed out that the amendment isn't meant to tar all late-night eateries with the same brush, saying there are some that present no problems.
"This is a huge problem that has been going on for a long time," said Coun. Helen Hughes, adding many adjacent businesses have been bearing the brunt of the rowdyism.
The bylaw would give the city authority to force a vendor to close at 11 p.m. for six months. The move would be punitive but not as devastating as suspending or revoking a business licence, she said.
Coun. Dean Fortin wondered if the bylaw wasn't somewhat misdirected.
"They're just inheriting the problem created from somebody else. What we have is a bunch of liquor establishments that get everybody liquored-up and then push them onto the street. They then go outside and go to some eating establishment which doesn't have enough seats and cause problems out on the street. So who's actually causing the problem?"
Corporate administrator Rob Woodland said the amendment is designed to send a message that the city is serious about controlling rowdy behaviour downtown.
Part of the problem, he said, is some of the food operations don't lease enough space to accommodate their patrons inside.
"These people don't have enough seats. So people use the streets and there's the associated problems with gathering crowds who are intoxicated. Bars are definitely part of the problem and that's a tougher problem to go after," Woodland said.
Victoria the NO FUN CITY
Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:47 AM
Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:47 AM
Perhaps, instead of punishing businesses for being busy, they should encourage more late night eateries....
Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:42 AM
Too bad no one at City Hall would think so.
Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.
Posted 04 May 2007 - 11:43 AM
Posted 04 May 2007 - 01:36 PM
Posted 04 May 2007 - 02:32 PM
On the Food & Dining page, where Vic Hockey Fan first posted the newspaper article, he prefaced it with this:
Am I missing something here? Some councillors say its the restaurants fault, Fortin says its the bars fault... doesn't anyone think the fault lies with the rowdies or the drunks or the guys pissing on the street?
Well, that's the question, isn't it -- and no, he's not the only one who thinks the fault lies with the rowdies or the drunks or the guys pissing on the street. He's right, it is their fault, not the places of business.
So why should the eateries be punished because we (collectively?) have failed to ensure that there are consequences for illegal behaviour?
It's as though we'll all get collectively punished -- no more fun, no late night bars, no late night eateries, no public amenities worth having because someone "might vandalize them," and on and on -- while the yahoos continue to wreck it for everyone.
Way to go.
Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:30 PM
However, If I recall correctly, aside from the late night noise that disturbed the guest in the hotel across the road, the big complaint was that the City forces had to clean up a lot of litter after the restaurants closed and before the next shift of people took over the city in the morning...
I still see the small capacity cast iron garbage containers that I'm sure overflow quickly spaced out on that portion of Wharf..
As one who grew up at the distance of 1 odrer of frenchfies from the chip wagon, and "suffered" from having to pick up the empty bags that were thrown over our fence when finished, it seems to me that given the experience with the extent of the litter, one can easily figure out the size and distribution of garbage containers to help alleviate the litter problem..
Next year, when students are looking for a geography project to do at UVIC, there's lots to do in applied spatial analysis of the "entertainment" district of Vibrant Victoria...
Posted 05 May 2007 - 06:22 AM
It's all very comfortable for the drunks and rowdies now with the mellow and subdued lighting. Or how about the police setting up a late night roadblock or checkpoint around that location regularly?
Another easy fix to go with bright lighting is to have an elevated video camera that will capture a good image of the bad guy's face. It needs to be vandal proofed and have a flashing red light and a noisy gear motor so the punks know it's there. I'm sure the problems would end shortly thereafter and anyone who did cause a disruption could be identified, arrested, and prosecuted.
That kind of business is not a nuisance that the bylaws were intended to address. If I were the business owner I'd certainly go to court and fight city hall.
Posted 05 May 2007 - 06:51 AM
Posted 05 May 2007 - 03:30 PM
Posted 05 May 2007 - 04:35 PM
Posted 05 May 2007 - 06:36 PM
Pedestrians arn't exactly cops but in large numbers they scare away crime just as much as a cop would. And better yet, they put money into the tax system. Let's at least double or triple the downtown pop (we can easily do that without any big changes downtown) AND increase the cross-use downtown. More people, but also more work. and not one type of work, a huge variety of jobs and places to shop that attract different types of people at different times of days all year round.
Cross use increases safety and also helps retail, which allows more retail and more secondary uses. Vibrant density is win win! Well we all know that, any correctly educated planner knows that, so how come the city does seem to know it?
Posted 06 May 2007 - 08:16 AM
Posted 06 May 2007 - 10:00 AM
What bothers me is that city officials are now treating residential like it is a done deal. That there is no reason to encourage it anymore. This attitude pisses me off. While we need a mix of buildings we are still not seeing the kind of building that is actually needed to keep our city virbant and yes safe.
See the "letter to the editor" from today's T-C, which I just posted in [url=http://www.vibrantvictoria.ca/forum/viewtopic.php?p=25628#25628:2f667]the Letters to the Editor[/url:2f667] thread for a weird perspective that "illuminates" your comment... :roll:
Posted 07 May 2007 - 08:25 AM
The kind of camera they need is one that will capture the image of a face suitable to identify someone. Ideally this would be placed behind the counter elevated and looking out at the front door to capture an image of the customer coming in.
You want it to be very obvious and probably have a monitor screen visible so that people can see they are on camera. Such images can be used to exonerate innocents and identify guilty parties.
The nuisance by-law is just not appropriate. The column in the Times Colonist today suggests that the food outlets are responsible because they don't provide seating or a bathroom. Please spare me so absurd a rationalization. That's a nuisance?
Nuisance is an UNREASONABLE use of property that interferes with someone else's reasonable use of property. The food vendors selling slices of pizza at 2 AM to walk-in customers is not an unreasonable use of property.
The squeakiest wheel so far is the nice hotel across the street. Maybe they need some very bright lighting and good quality camera equipment to discourage and identify hooligans. Even if the police didn't arrest or the crown didn't prosecute these idiots, you could get an order of protection against specific chronic problem people or sue them for damages.
This problem is so related to all the other urban problems: no accountability in the criminal justice system. There just is no punishment for any level of bad behaviour. People have killed people in all variety of ways and our criminal justice system simply provided no punishment.
You start punishing the genuine bad guys regularly either in jail or in the pocketbook and you're on the way to solving the problem.
Posted 07 May 2007 - 08:48 AM
Uniform closings lead to problems
Published: Monday, May 07, 2007
Re: "Late-night eateries face crackdown," May 4.
When people are forced to leave bars and pubs at 2 a.m. they go to eat and the congestion causes complaints of fighting, noise and littering around the restaurants.
City councillors are considering shutting down the eateries as well. Why do these councillors think this will stop fighting and noise when the problem is caused by the edict that bar owners have to throw these people on the street all at once with no place to go?
If we want to keep the crowd from the bars off the street, then let them stay in the bars. Let the bars stay open all night and their customers will leave in small groups over the wee hours.
Fred Langford, Sidney.
Posted 07 May 2007 - 12:43 PM
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