LONG BEACH — The front door of Patricia Clifford's condominium vibrates all night to a steady rock beat emanating from nightclubs at the nearby Marina Pacifica Mall.
"I sleep with the TV on" to drown out the noise, she said.
The rock music that intrudes into Robert Shaw's bedroom is so loud that he said he now sleeps in his living room.
And at Teri Ellsworth's condominium, "the beat goes on," she said, despite soundproofing equipment installed in recent years by nightclub owners.
The three Marina Pacifica condominium owners brought their complaints to a City Council public hearing Tuesday in opposing a business license for Barwinkles. The club's owners have asked the city for permission to operate a cafe with live entertainment and dancing in the former Michelangelo's nightclub at 6278 E. Pacific Coast Highway in the Marina Pacifica Mall. The club is located across the 120-foot-wide Marina Pacifica channel from the 570-unit Marina Pacifica condominiums. Condo residents are less than thrilled with the idea.
"Please do not ask us to subjugate our peace and quiet to an amplified guitar or a percussion instrument," Ellsworth told council members, adding that after years of trying to live with their noisy neighbors, condo owners were grateful for an opportunity to "vent our pent-up frustration, anger and resentment."
Council member Jan Hall, whose district includes Marina Pacifica, said she sympathized with the condo residents, adding that in her opinion rock music is not music, but just noise.
Time for Compromise Asked
Hall asked council members to give her three weeks to work out a compromise on operating conditions that would satisfy both the club and residents. The council unanimously approved Hall's request, delaying a vote on the application for a business license until Oct. 28.
For years, Marina Pacifica condo owners have complained about noise from mall nightclubs. In addition to the closed Michelangelo's three other businesses offer live entertainment. In 1983, acting on residents' complaints, council members suspended the entertainment license of one club, Bogarts, for three months for alleged violations of the city's noise ordinance.
Club owners, however, took the city to court and won when a Superior Court judge decided that the city had presented insufficient technical evidence to support the alleged violations. The club's entertainment license was reinstated by the council.
At Tuesday's council meeting, Don Danyko, general manger of the 1,900-member Marina Pacifica Homeowners Assn., asked council members for additional safeguards beyond the city's noise ordinance, which Danyko said is "not adequate to meet the homeowner's needs."
In an interview, Danyko said residents want the council to adopt as conditions for Barwinkles' business license, restrictions that would keep the club's windows and doors closed. In addition, Danyko suggested that the club install soundproofing insulation and hire guards to keep patrons from loitering near the marina.
At Tuesday's hearing, one of Barwinkles' owners, Trent Esperti, said the club would be a "good neighbor" that would play mostly taped music from the '50s and '60s for the over-30 crowd. He added that the club also plans to have live entertainment, such as weekend country-Western bands.
Council member Warren Hardwood, however, told Esperti that he and other city officials were not "born yesterday" and would not be surprised to see that format changed. Harwood said council members would write sufficiently strict conditions for the club's business license that would protect residents if club owners decide to change their format.