Pubdate: Sun, 21 Jun 2009
Source: Redlands Daily Facts (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles Newspaper group
Author: Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer


REDLANDS - With a single vote Tuesday, the Planning  Commission could
make a lot of trouble for anyone  trying to throw rave parties at
Pharaoh's Theme and  Water Park.

The commission is scheduled to make a final vote on the  revocation of
Pharaoh's conditional use permit (CUP) in  a public hearing Tuesday.
The commission started the  public hearing May 26 after the City
Council instructed  city staff to prepare documents to revoke the CUP.
The  council acted because the defunct theme park has been  home to a
series of all-night dance parties.

"I think that we need to look to the safety of our  children as well
as the citizens of the city of  Redlands," said Councilman Mick
Gallagher said April  10.

Though City Council members and Police Chief Jim  Bueermann have
spoken publicly against the raves at  Pharaoh's, the Planning
Commission will not delve into  discussions of the morality of the
all-night dance  parties at the park.

"The purview of this body extends only to land use  issues," said
Planning Commission Chairman Paul Foster.  " not the wide range of
other issues that may accompany  this matter in the public venue."

City staff compiled a list of 30 reasons the Planning  Commission
should revoke the CUP. Aladdin Entertainment  Group, LLC, owned by
James and Art Braswell of Yucaipa,  is the true holder of the CUP,
according to Redlands  city spokesman Carl Baker.

The list includes the accusation that park activities  have ceased and
its  go-karts, water slides, arcade games and other  attractions have
been abandoned. The park is also no  longer used for its conditionally
permitted use,  according to the report. The list also accuses the 
off-site parking - along the streets outside the park -  caused by the
all-night raves is a violation of the  CUP. The list also states that
allowing guests into the  park who are under the influence of illegal
drugs or  alcohol is a violation of the CUP.

During an April 18 rave, police made 40 drug-related  arrests - the
most of any Pharaoh's dance event. Police  arrested 31 people for
drugs during a March 16 rave. At  the most recent rave June 13, police
arrested four  people for drugs.

If the Planning Commission revokes the CUP, that will  not be the end
of the line for Pharaoh's. Aryana could  appeal the revocation to the
City Council. If the City  Council upholds the Planning Commission's
vote, Aryana  could take the city to court - which is exactly what he 
plans to do, according to his attorney, Roger Diamond.

"If we lose before the City Council, then we can  challenge their
decision (in court)," Diamond said May  26. "But I'm always an optimist."

Keith Kelly, James Braswell's attorney representing  Aladdin
Entertainment Group, spoke in favor of the  commission's decision to
move forward with the  revocation CUP.

"We are in agreement with (Community Development  Department Director
Oscar) Orci's presentation," Kelly  said May 26. "We don't believe
these activities are  authorized or warranted at the park."

Kelly said Aladdin Entertainment Group plans to reopen  Pharaoh's as
an amusement park.

Aryana and Aladdin Entertainment Group are mired in a  legal battle
for ownership and possession of the park.

The Planning Commission's public hearing to revoke the  park's CUP is
not the first time Pharaoh's has been  through the process. The City
Council held revocation  hearings for the CUP starting in late 1998
and ending  in April 1999.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m.  Tuesday in the
Council Chambers at City Hall, 35 Cajon  Street. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr