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City Restricts Downtown McDonald's Hours in Effort to Curb "Criminal Activities"
By Lookout Staff
November 15, 2018 -- The McDonald’s Restaurant on Second Street in Downtown Santa Monica -- which police consider "a significant center of criminal activities" -- will no longer be open around the clock, City officials announced Thursday.
The City Attorneys Office, along with the Police Department and Code Enforcement Division, successfully concluded a nuisance abatement case that resulted in a stipulated judgment restricting the restaurants hours.
“Calls for service and disruptive activities at McDonald’s have been greater than at any other business in Santa Monica, including other 24-hour fast food restaurants," said Sgt. Erika Aklufi.
"The restaurant’s operations created an unacceptable drain on police resources,” Aklufi said.
McDonald’s had 847 calls for service in 2017 and 657 calls in the first six months this year, compared to only a few calls for service at other fast food restaurants in the area, according to police.
Police and code enforcement officers tried for months to get restaurant management to comply voluntarily but were "met with resistance and inaction," City officials said
The City then administratively charged McDonald’s for maintaining a public nuisance, and a week-long administrative trial ensued.
The decision requires McDonald's to close the restaurant Sundays through Thursdays from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. and Fridays and Saturdays (including holidays) from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
The restaurant also must close the alley gate to its parking garage from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and its Second Street gate from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.
In addition, the restaurant will relocate its soda fountain behind the cashier counter "to limit unauthorized access" and pay administrative citation fines.
The hearing officer can adjust the hours of operation in the future "based upon demonstrated positive performance by McDonald’s," officials said.
“This is a positive and fair result,” said Santa Monica Police Captain Darrick Jacob. “Businesses that permit widespread disruptive and criminal activities create unacceptable drains on the City’s law enforcement resources, disrupt neighborhoods, and harm public safety.
Jacob said police, along with code enforcement and the City Attorneys office will "continue to aggressively and evenhandedly enforce state and local laws."
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