• Judge in “golf hours” case denies TRO

    At Dec. 1 hearing

    By Marge Ann Jameson

    Judge Kingsley, after hearing an hour and a half plea by the plaintiff’s attorney, denied the petitioner’s request for a preliminary injunction in the case John Troth brought against the City of Pacific Grove to keep the Pt. Pinos Grill at the golf course from extending hours past nautical twilight. hearing began at 1:30 Fri., Dec. 2 and lasted until about 4:00. Thus, the Pt. Pinos Grill may operate with extended hours for the near future.
    Also named in the suit were the City Council and Dory Ford, operator of the Grill, and Aqua Terra, his company.
    The plaintiff’s attorneys have requested transcripts of city meetings going back as far as a year. “We’ll be hard put to get those ready” in time for the next court date, a Jan. 20 management conference, said City Attorney Dave Laredo. City employees will be on furlough for a portion of that time. The Nov. 16 meeting during which the emergency ordinance in question was passed lasted two and a half hours alone.
    There will be a briefings check in five to six weeks and a hearing could possibly be set for March, 2012.
    By that time, it will be light later and the question of artificial lighting will not be pertinent. But light pollution is not the only concern the plaintiff, John Troth, has. He alleges in the suit that the extended hours will add noise and traffic, and negatively impact wildlife and other biological resources in the area.
    During the 120-day test, 16 days of which have now passed, the Grill is set to be open Thursday through Sunday evenings. It works out to be 55 days of possible late evening use.
    The suit alleges that the “test” was an excuse for passing the ordinance after Ford told the City he didn’t see how he could make a profit unless hours were extended.
    Without the urgency ordinance, such a “test” would likely not have taken place until February, 2012 given time to allow for the involvement of the Planning Commission and potential public review under the California Environmental Quality Act.
    The suit also alleges that the city circumvented its own rules by changing the nature of a use permit in an area zoned as open space. The golf course is zoned as an open space. Lovers Point and other open spaces around Pacific Grove also have varied uses and Sally Griffin Center, the senior center, is part of the same open space as the Pt. Pinos Grill and the golf clubhouse.
    Troth owns rental property across the street from the golf course, and says that he would be adversely affected by the extended hours.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on December 2, 2011

    Topics: Front PG News, Breaking News


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