Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed and Restraining Order Granted Against Pleasanton Planning Commission and City of Pleasanton Around Town, posted by Another Lawsuit, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm
Looks like a Federal lawsuit was just filed in Federal Court. It is Case 4:12-cv-00254-PJH and is Diamond Pleasanton Enterprise v. Pleasanton, and says that Pleasanton violated the First Amendment of the Constitution. The judge has ordered a temporary restraining order on the city of Pleasanton from using its powers to limit any activity at the location until a court hearing is held.
The lawsuit alleges that the Planning Commission imposed a conditional use permit PCUP-273 Condition 5 on August 25, 2010 saying that the City's Community Development Director had the power to select and approve the actual music played at the location [sounds like Amador and Foothill principals, doesn't it?]. The condition was according to the lawsuit "The music selection shall be maintained as proposed - Top 40 mainstream mix." According to the filings, Commissioner Narum moved to make the conditional use findings as described in the staff reports and to approve PCUP-273, Diamond Pleasanton Enterprise with AYES: Commissioners Blank, Narum, Olson, Pearce, and Pentin.
Then there are allegations regarding the police deparment and the planning department threatening to shut it down and sending letters with Facebook printouts.
Does the Pleasanton Weekly plan to cover this story?
5. The applicant acknowledges that its music selection, Top 40 mainstream mix, is specifically being accepted and conditioned as provided herein based on the City’s experience with similar business establishments with this type of music. If changes to the music selection are desired, prior City review and approval is required. Applicant must submit to the City in writing the proposed new music selections. The Director of Community Development or his or her designee shall have five (5) business days to review the proposal, and either approve, approve subject to conditions, or disapprove, in writing. Decisions of the Director of Community Development may be appealed to the Planning Commission and be heard at their next regular meeting, which appeal will stay the Director’s decision. This requirement for prior City approval of a change in music selection is based on the City’s experience, and that of other local communities, with significant negative secondary effects (fighting, loitering, littering, etc.) with other business establishments with different music selections.
The Police put the music selection condition in. Apparently the Police mandated the music selection of the "Top 40 mainstream mix" (which could mean this according to Wikipedia Web Link contains songs such as "My Heart Will Go On" - Céline Dion (1998), "Lady Marmalade" - Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil' Kim & Mýa (2001)).
I guess blasting "My Heart Will Go On" at full blast registers less on the ol' Decibel meter than other songs genres. Amazing.
From the board report -
"The Police Department has indicated that the music selection is one of the main factors in the amount of noise (and public disturbance) complaints that are typically received for this type of establishment. The current music selection is Top 40 mainstream mix. The applicant has stated that they will continue the current music genre and will not be playing Hip Hop as a main music selection."
So how many millions of dollars will this cost the city?
Posted by Another Lawsuit, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 15, 2012 at 12:15 am
Some of the court papers included a letter on January 20, 2012 stating that there were 'riotous crowds' on Dec 17/18 of 700 people with fights, reckless driving, and that the Shell Station on Hopyard Road was looted.
I am confused. The Pleasanton Weekly does not indicate that happened on Dec. 17th and 18th in the crime reports listed below.
So did it happen? If there was a riot and looting, I would have thought it would have been all over the papers.
- 11:31 a.m. in the first block of Tehan Canyon Road; petty theft
- 4:28 p.m. in the 5500 block of Springdale Avenue; auto theft
- 5:05 p.m. in the 1000 block of Stoneridge Mall Road
- 9:49 p.m. in the 100 block of Neal Street
- 6:21 p.m. in the 3100 block of Santa Rita Road
- 12:30 a.m. in the 200 block of Kottinger Road; underage drinking on private property, public drunkenness, battery
Posted by shut the dump down, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:22 am
According to the Secretary of State the corporation is owned by a "Jenny Wolfes". She operates, among other things that club on Hopyard where a large fight happened about a month ago. There was no objection to the music selection when the original permit was issued, making a "first amendment" plea now is ridiculous. Clearly the playing of hip hop would attract a different crowd than playing top 40. Leave the gang bangers in Oakland, we don't need them here.
If the conditions were OK at the beginning the club owners have nothing to complain about now. Seems the city should just shut them down for being unable to control their own patrons.
Posted by Another Lawsuit, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:41 am
It doesn't work that way. The lawsuit alleges that the the city 'conditioning' the place with certain conditions as well as subsequent city actions (e.g., communicating with them saying they were 'attracting the wrong element' or 'too many people from Oakland coming), that by forcing the restriction or discouragement of African Americans from coming into the place, the city not only violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but also the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment.
Posted by Another Lawsuit, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 15, 2012 at 10:43 am
The city should know better than put such unlawful restrictions on a business like what songs it needs to play. Is the city going to regulate the food products or wording on the menu too?
It doesn't matter if the owner knew about the restrictions or not, but from the lawsuit reference to the Planning Commission hearing, it says there was a last minute letter with an extra condition placed in the letter. The owner may have or may have not known about the extra condition.
But that isn't the point. The point is that the unlawful condition should have never been put on there in the first place, or is someone suggested it, numerous people in the city or the commission should have spoken up that it was clearly an unlawful condition, and it should have never seen the light of day.