Observatory North Park operators agree to pay $90,000 fine

SAN DIEGO -- The operators of Observatory North Park have agreed to pay $90,000 in civil penalties after the San Diego City Attorney's Office filed a nuisance lawsuit against the music venue.

The operators of the music venue also agreed to reimburse the City of San Diego $50,000 in police investigative costs, according to a news release from the city attorney.

"Defendants are in the process of obtaining all required permits and correcting building and Fire Code violations," the release added.

The City Attorney's Office filed a nuisance lawsuit against the venue last week, warning that the property could be shut down if its operators do not secure the proper permits or deal with activities that the city alleges have drawn a host of public nuisance complaints.

City officials say the venue has been operating in violation of city zoning laws and fire code laws, despite notices from city inspectors.

The complaint, filed last week in San Diego County Superior Court against the venue and its owner Thomas Courtney Dubar, states that the venue continued hosting events despite not having the proper permitting following its conversion from a theater to a nightclub and bar, as well as not addressing several fire hazards on the premises.

Additionally, the City Attorney’s Office alleges that the venue has seen “an increase in nuisance and criminal activity,” leading to 174 calls for service and more than 500 out-of-service hours for San Diego police officers between January 2015 and March 2019.

In a statement, the City Attorney’s Office said the venue “has been a growing source of neighborhood complaints for noise, violence, teenage drinking, public intoxication, public vomiting and the accumulation of trash, debris and human waste.”

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