Permit denied for event encouraging ‘BYOB’
by Neal Putnam
May 08, 2013 | 2218 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A City Council committee voted 4-0 May 1 to deny an appeal of the FreePB organization, which was denied a special-event permit for a 14-hour “Leisure Olympics” at Crown Point Shores, in which participants were to be encouraged to bring their own alcohol.

The July 27 event is also described as a fundraiser, but without the permit, alcohol cannot be served or consumed in public.

Robert Rynearson, the director of FreePB.org, and his attorney, Corey Briggs, appealed a decision by police to the Public Safety & Neighborhood Services Committee.

Police Chief William Lansdowne told the committee his department denied the group’s permit because allowing people to bring their own alcohol would result in minors mixing with adults who are drinking.

“They can have their event if they have a beer garden,” said Lansdowne, who explained that other organizations have a fenced-off area where adults can legally drink in public, but those under 21 years of age are not admitted.

Another police official said only beer or wine can be consumed in a beer garden and not other types of liquor.

Rynearson said he didn’t want a beer garden because people should not feel like they can only “consume an adult refreshment in a cage.” He also said he felt families should feel together and not have to separate to drink alcohol.

Briggs said it was unfair for the city to deny the permit with the idea the group had no successful track record of similar events. Officials have to grant permits before organizations can have a successful track record, said Briggs.

Four people, including three who live in Pacific Beach, spoke against the event and said they supported the police department’s viewpoint.

District 6 City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf made the motion to deny the appeal, and it was seconded by District 9 City Councilwoman Marti Emerald. Also voting to deny the appeal were councilmembers David Alvarez and Frank Kersey.

“I, personally, think a beer garden is a good idea,” said Zapf.

Emerald agreed.

“Keep the kids away from the alcohol. Have a beer garden,” said Emerald to Rynearson and Briggs as the meeting concluded.

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