tv Government Access Programming SFGTV February 12, 2018 2:00am-3:01am PST
doing. as far as, you know, if there's going to be more or less staff on, definitely not going to be less. if anything there's going to be more staff on. with everything that is going on, a lot of people just think our venue is closed, so we anticipate with marketing that more people are going to come to our venue. it's really just staying on top of it honestly. >> vice president thomas: any other questions? all right. thank you. then i know we have public comment. how many folks want to make public comment? i think you've all been here before. you know the drill. three minutes each. please introduce yourself. >> good evening. i'm the district manager for the top of broadway cpd. it's good to see you all again.
i was part of the original effort led by the community in cooperation with central station to inform the commission of some of the grievances that community had against hue lounge, one of the concerns was sound and leaking of sound into the alley. i feel like we've beaten that enough tonight. i think bennett has provided materials that were exactly what the commission asked for and i think bennett should be commended for his outreach to the community and i think our main gripe from the get-go, we didn't see this type of dialogue before bringing it to the commissioners. i'm glad it's happening. the second concern we brought to the commission was the violence. and when i say violence, that was the consistent record of fights we have regarding 447 broadway, which is hue. and i mention the litany of
fights reported to myself as a representative of the cpd, and i listed those in the summary of correspondence i sent back in june, in which you had the pleasure of looking over. and from that summary, i just wanted to call back on a quote from john windsor who is with security intelligence specialists, who is an excellent -- very professional, can't recommend him enough. he works with the cpd shortly before going to hue and john definitely knows his stuff and i respect his assessment. but from that summary they sent back in october 2016. he says there are changes i immediately am making -- this is right after a massive fight in which the block was shutdown. there are changes i'm immediately making and extremely clear of what the venue needs to change in so far as sound level, procurement, management and
staffing increases and bottle management. this sounds familiar, this is what we're talking about tonight, november -- that is october 30th, 2016. so we have gone through the motions of profani bringing thie the commission and bennett is asking you to make a decision on his good word that he has changed for the better. well, if that was the case, he would have changed before we got to the commission level. we brought this to commission because we felt we weren't making headway creating a dialogue with bennett and the top of the -- it has no aversion to night life. this is broadway we're talking about in san francisco. we want to see responsible management of the night life venues on the block and that was the basis of the original concern. at this point, yes, we have seen great improvement in the past few months, but it seems to me at least because of the conditions placed are working.
>> vice president thomas: thank you. the first beep is the warning you have 30 seconds left. >> thank you very much. i'm andrew diamond and i live at 2 rollen street unit one. i lived there 11 years now and things on broadway and hue nightclub are probably better than they have been in years and years. my only frustration is what took so long. we have complained about the noise issues for years and told bennett about the issues for years. i am a little concerned with two things. one of which is just what the total noise in the back of the club -- there's a lot of talk about the front and back, we're impacted by the back of the club, we're at the back of the alley. i know bennett said he did 100%
of the sound proofing, i wish it would have been done years ago. there's more that can be done. some of the side doors they don't use for the main entrance but they let sound out and one of the doors particular, we notice a lot of sound that comes through. i'm hoping that this is not the end of the sound proofing, that more sound proofing can happen because i really think that that will solve all of our sound issues. the second issue with the way sound is done is, bennett tells me he's in compliance with what the commission has set. and i'm not a sound expert. i met with bennett saturday night at 9:00 and he went in and turned on the club music and we were in front of my home, it was not an issue. friday night was not an issue. the thursday before that, it was an issue. on saturday night after we met,
it got louder as the night progressed. i appreciate it when bennett turns the volume down. he has given me contact information for all the clubs. i appreciate when he takes action, we notice it. a little volume change in the club makes a huge difference to us. i don't understand -- to me, you talk about decibel levels and i go on the internet, what does 80 or 70 mean. it's a huge difference. and you know, we bought a sound meter and we see this was on saturday night and i don't know if you can totally see this, but it basically bounces around in the 70 and hits a little over 80 and -- you know, it can just be brought down a little bit, i think it solves all of our issues. i have taken action in my own home. there was talk about materials used.
i had two windows and i sheet rocked over them and added a layer of quiet rock on top of that. we're doing things inside my home that we don't get the use of the windows anymore but it helps us live and i'm just asking bennett and unite club to just keep going, not end now. >> vice president thomas: thank you. any other public comment? yes. welcome, three minutes. >> good evening commissioners. i live at 2 rollend. hue and management, bennett have made a lot of effort to improve their operation. the sound, we still get at times excessive sound noise, particularly base where it vibrates walls and windows and
so on and so forth. it's very penetrating. so, the term you use, i forget, but to reduce that base level definitely makes a difference. they do have a front lounge and i believe they have a back lounge, if that base could be reduced in both of those areas that would be beneficial. as far as some of the questions the commissioners asked bennett and security, what would you change or by lifting your stipulation of closing at midnight, what might change or what would you do differently if we allow them to stay open to 2:00. we all know the later in the evening it gets and the more alcohol that's consumed, the more difficult it is to control the crowd. the participants in the venue.
and i just -- i hope you take that into consideration based on the past experience of the operation. i hope bennett can be successful under those regulations. there's no problem with the operation when it stays at a reasonable sound level and the patrons are not creating a dangerous environment for those who live there along with other people on broadway. so thank you for your time. >> vice president thomas: thank you. all right. commissioners? >> i was going to make a comment -- >> vice president thomas: that was it for public comment and public comment is now closed. commissioners -- do you have questions, comments, opinions,
motions. >> commissioner perez: i want to ask the staff if they have a recommendation or feedback on what we should do as far as lifting the hours. >> that is really within your purview. sorry. we just give you the facts. >> commissioner perez: only one violation -- >> yes. >> commissioner perez: since changing -- >> yes, only one violation period. >> commissioner perez: thank you. >> i do have thoughts. i think, you know, six months ago we were all here and i think we were inundated with a significant amount of very compelling but substantial
evidence that bennett and his team weren't living up -- that was a fact. that was the allegations at least. it seemed to me years before that, that bennett had been promising results to neighbors and the neighbors didn't feel the results were being followed through on and that seemed to be a factor to me. i do believe and i think it's clear that the conditions we put on the licence actually caused real financial and business pain to hue, i think any nightclub forced to shut down a deejay at midnight is not going to be successful, generally, with maybe some exceptions around. and it did seem that that pain we caused for the first time maybe in the neighbor's mind at least led to tangible results from hue where they actually
started in the neighbor's minds and police mind and community mind to follow through on some of the promises they felt were not followed through on before. to me, it seemed at least personally that hue was not -- this is my own opinion. i don't know if it's true or not, but that hue is not ready to be open until 2:00 a.m. before july. to me it seemed they had not done the work required to be a responsible good operator. that's just what it appears to me. it does seem to me now that under the pressure of real pain and that they have come around and they have acted as good operators for this period of time, especially as the sound proofing came on, the noise was mitigated more and more. i feel comfortable taking the
training wheelin trainin training wheels off again and operate until 2:00 a.m. with the caveat i think they understand now and will understand and hope they do, it's very easy and will be a lot faster and more swift for us to reconstitute the pain or bring back the pain which is really the only power we have as authority here. to me, i'm comfortable with it. i want to say we're going to pay very, very, very close attention to hue. we have to be and we have to be for all the reasons the community and violence and public safety, etc cetera. but i am comfortable with removing it. >> vice president thomas: and just to clarify, we -- there were a number of conditions
added, one was about limiting the hours of entertainment to midnight -- >> the hours specifically. some of those should stay for sure. >> vice president thomas: others were adding more employees to bottle service, sounds like was happening. informing the neighbors, which has been done and needs to continue and i feel like, you know, hearing the neighbors coming and saying they're finally getting the communication they want is one of the biggest wins of this. but we're specifically looking at lifting the condition around limiting the hours and just to clarify, that's the one that you're the most interested in mr. montoya. yeah. okay. >> commissioner lee: so, my opinion, all club owners should have a chance to, you know, be
an operator, be good neighbors and work with their neighbors. we've all gone through it. when you have a situation like this and a lot of energy has been put in here to try to rectify these issues and it's not perfect and i'm still not convinced that it's fool proof, there's still a situation where i think that there's still possible leakage and i think that the operator could change the settings, i mean, you know, it's still not really perfect science but it's going to be the operator now to really -- he put himself on the line, on camera, saying a lot of things, making a lot of promises. you have a great head of security that knows what he's doing but as an owner, as a previous owner of a club, finances and everything, you could cut back on security and things could go the other way. you as an operator, obviously you're fighting to keep your
club and i believe second chances are in order, but if it happens again, we took a lot of energy to get here. and there's a lot of bad things being said on both ends and i don't appreciate a lot of it, but at the same time, it's the business we're in. i'm okay to give a second chance, but i tell you, if we get more, i'm not even going to negotiate anymore. i'm kind of like -- bennett, this is it. if we lift the condition, in my opinion, there's still things you can do to make that thing either quiet -- in compliance or not. and you're going to have to be on it. and i think you have the tools to have it, but what you'll do with it, i don't know. i won't block lifting the time. i mean you gave me the data
finally, which i have been looking for for months. if you stay within this parameter then you should be in compliance. if the neighbors still have a problem, they can go in other legal actions against you. as far as the city goes for me anyway, i think we have done everything we can and it's up to your own ability as an owner to stand up to it. so -- >> vice president thomas: commissioner frost? >> commissioner frost: i was impressed with the security director's presentation as well. but then you listen to one of the speakers and they talk about having heard this before. i remember back when it was brought to us we heard of a lot of different people in the community that had tried to work with him and finally it comes in
front of us and he gets forced to work with us. i'm still a little concerned and like one of the speakers said, closing at midnight and 2:00 are a big difference for consuming alcohol and what happens when you consume that amount of alcohol. i think one of the speakers from the club said that people think we're closed. is that is -- do they have less of a crowd and why they have less problems. they're not open until 2:00 and drinking less. is that part of the problem. i'm getting goose bumps right now. we have a guy who had to pay money to close up his windows, he had to affect his property
because this gentleman wouldn't listen to his complaints -- excuse me, he would listen to them and nod and smile and say he would do something about it. to me, that's not working with anybody. the only reason he worked with us is because we directed him to and that's why it went that far. i think it needs to be extended longer. i don't think six months is enough time to gauge this. like commissioner lee said, it's hard, it's his livelihood. i totally understand that. i can't sympathize with him, i have never been in that position, i don't know. but i can sympathize with the people who live in the area and tried to talk to him. seems like the speakers that come up here and talk about this -- we have seen a lot of people
shake their fists and somewhat unreasonable, but his neighbors seem reasonable to me. as far as giving them another chance, i would like to. but i think the neighborhood has given him plenty of chances. >> i want to echo what commissioner frost mentioned, it took a long time to get to this point. there were a lot of neighbors who came frustrated with the lack of response and or the operator would say one thing and smile and not work on what he was going to say. i'm glad that we seem to be heading the right path forward, but i agree with you, i think six months may not be enough. so i think we need to make sure that he stays on the right path. and i just want to say, i want to thank the neighbors who came here and thank you for your
patience. i know it has been a long time coming and thank you for your patience. it takes a lot of time and effort for you guys to come here. just keep on it, make sure to keep us informed what is happening. we can't be there 24/7 like you are. i want to encourage you guys to keep us abreast on what's going on. >> vice president thomas: do you have comments? i -- i mean, it's clear that there's been a lot of very positive change and it's really impressive to hear that from everyone. it may not be change as much as everyone wants, but everyone is getting some movement towards what they want. i am not entirely convinced -- i feel much of the change that has happened has been because of the attention and focus and, you know, having you come back again and again and that's been part
of driving this positive change and i'm not entirely certain that the difference between midnight and 2:00 a.m. is actually what has made that. that was more one of the tools we had. i'm willing to move forward and lists that, but i'm also interested in probably having you come back in another six months, do another hearing and check in again about how this is going, is it still positive change going in the right direction and you know, i know we will be keeping a very close eye on what we hear from our inspector, what we hear from the neighbors. what we hear from the police department. the cbd, others in terms of what's happening. i would be interested in moving forward with a motion to lift it for six months and then come back for another hearing and hear how things are.
so i know that's -- you know, i think we're a bit split on do we keep things in place for another six months or try to lift something for six months and come back and see if the changes have continued. le >> i like that. there are two sides to me here. and this many cases, i'm very sure what to do and this one i think both sides make compelling arguments here. there's just two things i wants to point out, it seems like the only reason hue started coming into compliance is because of the pain we caused them and that's not what you want to see as an entertainment commissioner, you want to see people doing things with their own regard but the real pain this caused i don't want to disregard. understanding the loss of revenues for six months for a
very expensive to operate establishment in san francisco, i can't speak for sure but i would guess that there was a hemorrhaging of money taking place over the past six months that is something that is very frightening to think about if -- about it returning. right? so for whatever reason people come under compliance, everybody is motivated in different ways. the idea of losing a lot of money over time and that is really painful, which it is for most people, that might be compelling enough to knock operating out of the park. on the other side and this is why i like the idea, i'm terrified we're going to get the same thing the neighbors got, which is, you know, check all the boxes of communication and pretend that things are going to be better and then nothing changes and nothing happens. so i like commissioner thomas's idea to come back for another look in six months and give
everybody a chance to express themselves again. and i just want to reiterate what commissioner lee and i think i said to a point of this is really a last -- this is the last stand for this licence. i think it can remain but if we come back in six months and things have not changed or they have taken a dive or really compelling evidence it is worse, then it's almost guaranteed there will be minimum from my perspective that i'm going to look for very restrictive operating hours. maybe more than midnight. that's what i want to say. >> vice president thomas: we don't want hue to close. we don't want to lose another entertainment venue, but we want hue to be a good operator and good neighbor. and you know, looking out for the safety of patrons, neighbors, the wellbeing of the
whole community, so it's a matter of getting there. and you know, we could even come back in three months if that would make people feel better just to keep some sort of scrutiny on see what happens, but i do feel like, we put some -- this pain analogy, we put pain on, got your attention but then you have to let it up. and make sure that it moves forward. you don't want to keep someone in -- >> commissioner lee: it's not only painful, it's painful for us. it's not an easy thing to -- it's obvious to fix if you're the right person to fix it. there's a lot of things but eventually it all lays here with us. so -- >> vice president thomas: okay. >> our relationship with hue bennett has been very unhealthy
and it's almost abusive just from the perspective of the police, the supervisor's office, from the neighbors, community that has come out. and i personally want to believe you're going to turn this ship around and the way you are taking care of your business, i know we're telling you your baby is youiugly, you have been maki the improvements and investments to move forward and i want to believe in you. i believe in your security team more than i believe in you. i think you have a lot riding on this and i agree with the assessment of vice president thomas and commissioner lee and commissioner bleiman that we should give you a chance to prove to us that you're committed to making the impact and changing the nature of the relationships with the people around you. you have to do better working with the community.
and i think you have to make a better attempt at the relationship with the police and with the supervisor's office. >> commissioner lee: one more thing and then i'll stop talking -- it may be that the hue you have in your mind or want may not be able to operate because of circumstances. i want to say keep a flexible mind on how to operate and make money in that space. if europe until 2:00 a.m., it may be that the programming you wanted to have is not working for whatever reason or the crowds you're attracting -- you're having difficulty controlling them for whatever reason. you may have to adjust and i'm sure you have made huge adjustments and i know how tough that is, but the old status quo can't return basically. we have to find some new ground
here. so -- that's it. >> a couple of things. i think i lost one of them. as far as letting them go back to three days to stay open until 2:00 a.m., i would like to give them -- for you to look at giving him a shorter rope. maybe we do three months -- this commission does three months at one day and then if everything goes well, then extend it to three days or whatever days he's open for six months and then come up for review. but the other thing is, i would like to suggest to mr. montoya that he listens to what one of the speakers said about sound proofing -- more around doors where that person thinks the
sound is imnating from or at least test it to either confirm or refute that it's coming from that door. but yeah, i would like the commission to think about not opening the flood gates but slowly releasing the water by having -- give him one day for three months and then open it for the next three months and come back in six months to review. >> vice president thomas: there are a number of varieties of proposal on the table. anybody want to make a motion? >> commissioner lee: yes, i would like to hear first, the first proposal we had if we're comfortable with that and then to me i would like to dial back from there. we can do it the other way. but i want to make a motion to lift the time restrictions on the entertainment permit for a
period of three months, pending a look back hearing -- i don't know exactly how to say it technically. a hearing three months from now to review the decision. >> vice president thomas: is there a second? >> commissioner caminong: i second. >> vice president thomas: this is not staffing, communication with neighboring and not changing anything about the sound. >> my apologies, can you repeat the stipulating three month -- i was trying to ask bennett what days of the week he's currently open. >> commissioner lee: no restrictions on days of the week. can you read the restriction we had. the exact conditions. for time. >> to limit hours of
entertainment to 12:00 a.m. daily, that would go back to 2:00 a.m. daily, the other conditions would stay and we would come back in three months for a hearing to hear from the venue itself, the security staff, san francisco police department, neighbors, cpd, etc cetera to hear how things are going and if we want to then move forward from there or make other changes. >> sounds good. we had a first and second. can i take a vote? (voting) all right. so that is a tie. that does not pass. do we want to try the commissioner frost's -- do you
want to make a motion? >> that was a suggestion. i don't want to extend it at all. i want to keep it in effect as is. that was just a suggestion on my part. >> commissioner lee: so -- okay. you know, why don't we give them a try, three months, okay, and let them pick a day, three months goes by fast. friday or saturday, let them pick a day, to do it until closing and maybe friday until one but all the other days until midnight until we get to make sure the sound thing is all -- whatever. sound, security, whatever is the issue. in three months we review and after three months, lift the whole thing. >> so that's -- so mr. montoya,
are you -- are you usually open on friday's and saturday's? would this help address your concerns? >> we're open friday, saturday, continuously sundays and then private corporate events during the week. >> so friday until 1:00 a.m. saturday until closing and other days of the week until midnight is the proposal on the table. >> sorry friday at 1:00. saturday until 2:00 a.m. rather than closing. >> all right. >> keep the other for now midnight for the other days. and then review in three months, no problems, then we lift the condition. >> just to clarify. friday 1:00 a.m., saturday 2:00 a.m., sunday to thursday until 12:00 midnight.
i don't want -- for six months. three months? i don't want to imply that we're going to automatically lift a restriction based on no problems. that seems a little -- >> vice president thomas: we'll review in three months. all right. >> so that was a motion was there a second? >> commissioner perez: i'll second. >> moved and seconded. (voting) okay. all right. so that passes. with a 4-2 vote. so, with that, we are lifting your restriction for saturday to go until 2:00 a.m. lifting the restriction for
friday to go until 1:00 and again, this is with live entertainment. and we will have everyone come back in three months, again, with the encouragement to keep progress and communication going in the right direction so hopefully when we come back in three months we still have the same positive feedback from everyone, neighbors, police department, alike and we can fully lift the restrictions off of you. so, any final comments commissioners? thank you. thank you neighbors and community members and thank you hue and your team for coming back and we'll see you in three months and hopefully not at all before then. thank you. thank you in particular to the san francisco police department
for continuing to engage with us on this and provide your input. thank you. all right. that was it for that item. very long one. now i have lost my agenda. here we go. that was our final -- official agenda item. our final one is commissioner comments and questions. are there any other comment, questions, updates from commissioners? >> commissioner perez: just happy vallen -- val day for us. >> don't forget condolences to our president. do we donate money to cancer society or something like that.
>> something we need to do with the commissioners to take up a collection. we'll let people know when we hear of a service or -- >> anything we receive we'll share with each other. >> all right. we'll see you all at the summit as well. don't forget. >> do we adjourn the meeting in his honor. >> adjourn the meeting in nick's honor. that would be a wonderful thing to do. we'll adjourn the meeting in honor of nick, bryant's partner. with that, meeting adjourned. ♪ ♪
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