by Photo courtesy of Manuel Ocaño

A Zoom conference was held Monday morning with Chula Vista Businesses along the Third Avenue corridor to address an increase of vandalism, public intoxication, and threats to public health to find solutions. 

Business owners have formulated a group to find solutions to the growing issues seen along Third Avenue. According to some business owners in the area, these problems can be traced to more lenient, pandemic-era regulations of businesses that sell alcohol. 

An action plan was discussed during a “Time for Action Meeting”, hosted by Chula Vista Councilmember Jill Galvez, the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD), the Third Avenue Village Association (TAVA), and the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) South Bay. It’s an offshoot of the “Let’s Talk” session that was held last November. 

“There are fights nightly, people throwing up, property being damaged, people urinating, and more in the store alcoves,” Michael Pace said. Pace has been the owner of M&M Jewelers on Third Avenue since 1977 and has observed a change in the types of businesses that have sprouted up over the years. “Businesses are not following the restrictions to their alcohol licenses.” 

During the call, businesses addressed drunken behavior, loud noise, fighting, and defecation on the street. 

“Puke, pee and the other p-word, the poop, all that stuff going on,” Lewis said. “We do have what seems like a lot of the businesses like to pinpoint that on us, the food and beverage, down here, but what a lot of people don’t know is we have a lot of homeless — we got the alleys back here, the park,” said Kevin Lewis, one of the owners of 3 Punk Ales. 

According to the CVPD, the suggestions of increased crime along Third Avenue do not align with police data. In 2020, there were 452 calls and 395 the following year.

Chula Vista Police encourage witnesses to call the department and report crimes so they can build a database of how serious the problem is getting. That will help them address the problem by assigning more resources to the areas where they are needed most.

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