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San Luis Obispo taqueria set to close early after noise complaints

Posted at 11:52 PM, Jul 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-11 11:32:14-04

San Luis Obispo’s planning commission met Wednesday to decide how late Taqueria Santa Cruz can stay open after neighbors filed noise complaints.

A decision was made on the residents’ appeal, which called for the taqueria to close an hour early.

Commissioners voted 3-2, in favor of the neighbors’ request that Taqueria Santa Cruz Express shut down at 9 p.m.

Last May, Taqueria Santa Cruz asked the planning commission to make an exception for their business to stay open later than the surrounding businesses.

“Our hearing officer decided that 10 p.m. was a good compromise where everybody gave something,” said Michael Codron, Community Development Director.

However, residents living at the Mix at Monterey building felt that the taqueria’s late closing created too much noise late at night.

“The late hours affect the residents, it’s not just the rooftop fan. That’s part of it, the decibels, that Kyle talks about, that’s part of it, but it’s the after-hour activities,” said a resident of the property.

The residents say those activities include the dragging of metal chairs, the clean-up and customers who have been drinking and continue to linger around.

The property owner of the building, George Garcia, wants his residents and businesses to be happy but recognizes the trade-off when it comes to living in a mixed-use property.

“Do people really think it’s just a good idea to live downtown and the reality is yes, I believe it’s a good idea, but it does come with trade-offs, you’re going to have noise, and those other things that come from being in an urban environment but I think the benefit of living downtown next to restaurants and movie theaters, that’s something that folks are going to have to balance in their own way,” said Garcia.

On Wednesday, the planning commission deliberated on potential solutions to the latest appeal but ultimately decided to approve a motion that would enforce a 9 p.m. closing for the taqueria.

The restaurant can now appeal the ruling, but so far no word on whether if the business will.

The planning commission said its decision is final unless appealed to the city council within the next 10 days.