Santa Monica City Attorney Favorably Resolves Nuisance Abatement Case Against McDonald’s on Second Street

November 14, 2018

Santa Monica City Attorney Favorably Resolves Nuisance Abatement Case Against McDonald’s on Second Street

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office in partnership with the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) and Code Enforcement Division successfully concluded a nuisance abatement case against McDonald’s Restaurant, located at 1540 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405. The case resulted in a stipulated judgment under which McDonald’s will cease 24-hour operations. 

For at least the past two years, McDonald’s has been a significant center of criminal activities in Downtown Santa Monica.  According to SMPD Sergeant Erika Aklufi “calls for service and disruptive activities at McDonald’s have been greater than at any other business in Santa Monica, including other 24-hour fast food restaurants.  The restaurant’s operations created an unacceptable drain on police resources.” Specifically, “McDonald’s had 847 calls for service in 2017 and 657 in just the first six months of 2018.  Other fast-food restaurants in the same area had few calls for service in the first half of 2018.” 

“The City of Santa Monica welcomes civic-minded businesses of all types but insists that each live up to its civic obligations by supporting public safety goals of the City overall and complying with all laws and regulations” said Chief Deputy City Attorney Yibin Shen.  “The outcome of this case reaffirms these important goals”.

For months, numerous attempts by both SMPD and Code Enforcement seeking voluntary compliance were met with resistance and inaction by McDonald’s.  Accordingly, the Code Enforcement Division, in coordination with City prosecutors and SMPD, administratively charged McDonald’s for maintaining a public nuisance.  A week-long administrative trial ensued.  On October 19, 2018, the Hearing Officer issued her Final Judgment/Administrative Decision Pursuant to Stipulation in the nuisance abatement case which requires McDonald’s to:

  1. Close the restaurant Sundays through Thursdays from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.; Fridays and Saturdays (including holidays) from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
  2. Close the restaurant parking garage as follows:
    1. Closure of Alley Gate from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    2. Closure of Second Street Gate from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.
  3. Relocate the restaurant soda fountain behind the cashier counter to limit unauthorized access.
  4. Pay administrative citation fines.

The Hearing Officer may adjust the hours limitations in the future based upon demonstrated positive performance by McDonald’s. 

“This is a positive and fair result” said Santa Monica Police Captain Darrick Jacob. “Businesses that permit widespread disruptive and criminal activities create unacceptable drains on the City’s law enforcement resources, disrupt neighborhoods, and harm public safety.  The Police Department, in cooperation with our Code Enforcement and City Attorney’s Office partners, will continue to aggressively and evenhandedly enforce state and local laws that protect public health, safety and welfare.   We are very pleased with McDonald’s commitment to changing its operations to abate nuisance activities at its Second Street restaurant.”

This case was prosecuted by Deputy City Attorney Eda Suh.

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