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SLO plans new guidelines for bars 

Responding to complaints of excessive drinking and otherwise rowdy behavior in the downtown area, the City of San Luis Obispo is drafting new standards for businesses that serve alcohol.

The new guidelines have yet to be set in stone, but on Nov. 14, the City Council gave the go-ahead for city staff to continue crafting possible solutions to preemptively mitigate late-night problems. One of the proposed strategies is to limit the number of alcohol-distributing outlets and mandate training for local establishment staff.

Some of the possible solutions being floated around include requiring new businesses to obtain a conditional use permit with the city and existing establishments be subjected to a vague “deemed approved” ordinance with more general standards.

The newly formed Safe Nightlife Association, an organization comprised of San Luis Obispo-based business owners, began a public campaign ahead of the new guidelines to curb some of the existing problems. The group proposed the newly coined “One 86, All 86,” where a rowdy customer will be ejected from all downtown SLO bars if he or she is thrown out of one for the night.

The newest development in this push by SLO Police Department Chief Deb Linden comes almost two years after the city paid $22,000 to a Berkeley consultant for a study that claimed most late-night police incidents were related to alcohol establishments.

The rules aren’t expected to be finalized until sometime next year.

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