Mountain View upholds restrictions against O’Malley’s Sports Pub

O’Malley’s Sports Pub can’t operate as a restaurant or allow patrons into its back patio, the Mountain View City Council decided Tuesday.

Council members concluded the sports club didn’t present a solid case for operating a restaurant and had committed too many violations.

“Most of what I heard from the appellant was all about process and if we were to agree with those comments, it’s hard to see how in our day-to-day business we would be ever able to do anything to protect the quality of life of people in our community,” Mayor Lenny Siegel said.

Councilman Chris Clark, noting that staff gave O’Malley’s five months including a two-month extension to file its appeal, agreed no evidence had been presented to overturn a zoning administrator’s Oct. 25, 2017 decision.

“We’ve made more than a concerted effort over time,” Clark said.

There have been a number of violations at the 2135 Old Middlefield Way site since Florence Martin O’Sullivan opened O’Malley’s in 2015, according to a staff report. Violations included operating as a restaurant and bar with live entertainment in an area where both uses are not allowed in a single establishment; exceeding noise levels in its back patio and leaving a rear door open during live entertainment events, and hosting live entertainment on days other than Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Last year, O’Malley’s was fined $1,000 for violating its permit by hosting a comedian on a Tuesday night, even though police warned the bar not to do so after they received a flier announcing the performance, according to the staff report. An officer also observed the rear door propped open, another violation.

O’Malley’s has yet to pay the full $4,580 in penalties incurred from false alarm calls between June 1, 2016 and January 2018, staff said. The bar also failed at least seven fire department inspections last year and was found by a city building inspector to have committed  three violations for work done without permits.

In its appeal, the owners cited eight reasons for the council to overturn the zoning administrator’s decision, including denial of due process, unfair hearing under common law, a lack of sufficient evidence and overly restrictive new conditions. Staff rebutted all of those reasons, noting that no evidence was provided to back up the claims.

John Kevin Crowley, O’Sullivan’s attorney, suggested the council has no standard of review for weighing evidence in appeals. He said he reviewed council policy, the city charter, city codes and city ordinances to no avail and provided the council with cases he said backed up the accusation.

“None of it gives you a scale in which to weigh this evidence, and if that’s true, then it’s arbitrary,” Crowley said. “And if it’s arbitrary, it’s unconstitutional. If it’s unconstitutional, this whole thing gets thrown out.”

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