The Oxnard Planning Commission has approved a plan by a Los Angeles businessman to open a family oriented billiard center in the downtown area that could be used for international tournaments.
Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to issue a permit to Sung Ho Park to open the center at A and 7th streets after two buildings on the site are renovated.
"I think this will be a good addition to downtown," commission Chairman Ralph Schumacher said. "We do need to make sure it is a clean and safe operation."
But the commission, concerned about safety in the downtown area, will require Park to add extra staff at night to reduce potential security problems.
The downtown area where Park's club is to open posted 30% more police incidents in a recent year than the citywide average, high enough to be considered a problem area, according to Oxnard Police Sgt. George Pultz.
Pultz also identified 43 establishments where alcohol is sold within 1,000 feet of the billiard center site.
"The crime rate is a red flag to look at, but not a fatal flaw in the proposal," City Planner Matt Winegar said before the vote.
The center will feature 30 pool tables costing between $5,000 and $9,000 apiece, including 10 tournament-quality tables from Belgium, a video arcade and a snack bar. No alcohol will be sold or allowed on the premises.
Park will lease the 15,000-square-foot center and invest up to $400,000 to furnish the establishment and operate it, said Sam Lee, an Oxnard representative for Park.
The center will be the third pool hall in the downtown area. But none of the others are of the caliber envisioned by Park, who said Thursday that his center would be the only one in the region suitable for international tournaments.