Roscoe’s “Famous” Deli is Appealing to the Council.

Will the City Council uphold the noise Ordinance or will they break the rules for a prominent downtown businessman? The Fullerton Planning Commission instructed Roscoe’s to stop playing loud live amplified music outdoors on a patio built without permits. Click here to download a copy of Roscoes City Staff report Click here to watch the Planning Commissions meeting in streaming video, however, scroll to 1:37:25 in the video to get to the beginning of Roscoe’s public hearing.  Click here to learn how noise affects the quality of life.

31 Replies to “Roscoe’s “Famous” Deli is Appealing to the Council.”

  1. Sylvia – many lives are affected by the loud music emanating from Roscoe’s “Famous” Deli at all hours of the night and day. Unfortunately, the notification process required to make the general public aware of this situation was grossly inadequate. Only a 300 foot public notification radius was required. Obviously, this would be fine if the sound waves from the music abruptly stopped at the perimeter of Roscoe’s patio. Of course, this is not the case. The noise (music?) affects literally hundreds of other citizens and business’s within the downtown, including many members of the community who feel helpless about this situation.

    Actions like noise affecting such large numbers of citizens should require a larger radius for public notification.

  2. So how come Roscoe’s gets the kid glove treatment by City Staff? Why would a competent planning department look the other way on illegal code violators and then recommned a permit to make it all okay?

    I know! Let’s see if we can get an answer from City Manager Chris Meyers.

    If there is an appeal by Roscoe’s on the noise issue it will be real interesting to see how Dick Jones treats yet another of his illigitimate children!

    P.S. Why does Walt Johnson let an illegal use takes place on his property? Hmmm.

  3. This is a public nuisance issue. By permitting Roscoes to play live amplified music outdoors would continue to injure adjacent property owners rights, as well as the rights of people who want to sleep at night.

    The term public nuisance is comprehensive in its meaning; it includes disorderly inns, or ale houses, noise, smell, bawdy houses, gaming houses, unlicensed booths, also trades or business of any kind which produce ill effects upon the adjacent owner of property, such as tanneries, smelting works, rendering and soap factories, slaughter houses and such other places as tend to injure and prejudice the public.

    It will be interesting to see what the city staff’s recommendation is going to be when this goes to the city council on appeal.

  4. DJ, it will be the same as it was to the PC. Staff takes its orders from the City Manager. I can only assume he told the Planning Director:

    1) Look the other way on code enforcement

    2) Give the guy a permit to legitimize his public nuisance and pretend that there is no noise impact because it already exists!

    Chris Meyers has some ‘splainin to do. Unfortunately the City Council is composed of cowards and those who could be described as intellectually challenged.

  5. Rudy, an appeal has been filed by Jack “Fullerton’s Hero” Franklin. Even though Jack lives in Yorba Linda, he made an impression on Planning Commissioner Dexter Savage because “he makes a hell of a liverwurst sandwich”. Hardly a reason to permit live amplified music outdoors (a public nuisance) . Yet “interior noise shall not exceed a level which can be heard 50 feet from any exterior wall of the establishment, or heard 50 feet from the boundary of any outside courtyard or patio area included within the limits of the lot or designated tenant area on which the business is located, for a period of longer than five consecutive seconds”. But, it’s OK to play live amplified music outdoors at all hours of the night. Some things make no sense. Perhaps Dexter should eat dinner before the next Planning Commissions meeting.

  6. California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

    The California Environmental Quality Act CEQA establishes requirements for assessing the environmental impacts of projects CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 identifies that specific activities and uses have been determined by the Secretary of Resources do not have a significant effect on the environment and therefore they are categorically exempt from the requirement to prepare environmental documentation. Pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15301 the proposed project falls within a Class 1 categorical exemption as the building area is existing and the uses are typical of those found in an urban setting.

    Although the size and general activities of the project falls within a categorically exempt CEQA Guidelines section 15300.2(c) identifies that a project cannot be considered categorically exempt if an activity presents a reasonable possibility to have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances.

    Considering the contentions pertaining to the proposed outdoor entertainment staff has reviewed the guidelines to determine if the outdoor entertainment could be considered a significant impact, per CEQA.

    Pursuant to the CEQA Guidelines environmental checklist Appendix G a significant impact would occur if the following were to apply:

    a) Expose people to or generate noise levels in excess of standards established in the local general plan or noise ordinance or applicable standards of other agencies.
    b) Expose people to or generate excessive groundborne vibration or groundborne
    noise levels.
    c) Generate a substantial permanent increase in ambient noise levels in the project
    vicinity above levels existing without the project or
    d) Generate a substantial temporary or periodic increase in ambient noise levels in the project vicinity above levels existing without the project.

    In reviewing the proposed project the staff has determined that the project does not have the potential to constitute a potential impact per Appendix G criteria:

    a) The City Noise Ordinance addresses residentially zoned properties and sensitive receptors There are no residential zones or sensitive receptors within proximity of the site therefore the project does not conflict with the Noise Ordinance The City General Plan identifies acceptable conditionally acceptable and unacceptable noise levels based on community noise equivalent levels (CNELs). CNELs are based on a 24 hour period therefore the periods of peak noise levels are balanced by periods of limited noise The General Plan is intended to address general compatibilities among land uses categories
    therefore a CNEL is helpful in considering overall ambient noise Levels but is not beneficial in reviewing single events activities.

    b) The noise generated from the outdoor entertainment does not generate excessive groundborne vibrations nor would it generate excessive groundborne noise levels Goundborne noise levels are typically created by the abrasion or contact with the ground such as a jackhammer or railroad tracks.

    c) and (d) The activities that are proposed are existing activities whether approved or not Pursuant to CEQA the consideration and analysis of noise impacts must be based on existing noise levels therefore the consideration of the project
    would not significantly increase the ambient noise Furthermore without the live music the project site would still maintain a high level of ambient noise based on the characteristics of groups of people in a social environment.

    Section 15064 I of the State CEQA Guidelines states that a change in the environment is not a significant effect if the change complies with a standard that is a quantitative qualitative or performance requirement found in a statute ordinance
    resolution rule regulation order or other standard of general application For the purpose of assessing the significance of noise impacts associated with the proposal in compliance with CEQA a noise impact would be considered significant if it has the potential to result in an excess of the City Noise Ordinance or the general criteria established by the City General Plan Given the downtown urban setting the site isolated location limited duration of entertainment and the ambient noise levels from the existing nightlife and arterial roadways the proposed project would not create a significant effect or have a potential to create a significant impact on the environment as determined by CEQA.

  7. BF, Wow! What a tsunami of verbiage just to show how staff is abusing CEQA for cover in a completely incompetent decision.
    Unfortunately, the problem with your post is that it’s hard to separate the language of the guidelines from your (or staff’s) opinionating.

    The City should require a professional noise analysis and THEN it can determine where the sensitive receptors are. People are already complaining eight blocks away to the south. The proposed Amerige Court project would be adding hundreds of new residents a mere two of three hundred feet away. And what about people eating in restaurants next door and across the alley? Why don’t they count as sensitive receptors? The answer is of course they do.

    At one o’clock in the morning there is virtually no ambient noise; what will that impact be? Also, to argue that there is already a noise presence there because Roscoes patrons are socializing outside is absurd to anybody who has heard amplified music.

    The statement that if an unapproved use creates an impact, somehow it is exempt from consideration of noise analysis (if this is what straff is really trying to say) defies commonsense and would be an invitation to anybody to break the law in order to establish a pre-existing condition.

    Finally, what’s to stop the next guy once the precedent has been set? Once again the City of Fullerton piecemeals projects and dodges cumulative impacts of policy.

    Well, staff can bend the meaning and intent of CEQA all out of shape if it wants. Ultimately the decision makers, if they are indeed impartial, will base a decision on the permit on findings of compatability. If they are impartial the permit will be denied.

  8. William, I think you and BF are both saying the same thing. I read his post to be a highligting (in bold type) of the idiocy of the staff report.

  9. I don’t understand why your (FFFF) position is what it is. Roscoes loud music makes downtown Fullerton lively. Everybody likes loud rock and roll, even children like it. Your kind probably listen to classical music. Sylvia, perhaps you should move to Brea or keep your earplugs in cause there’s nothing going to stop us now, not a chance in hell.

  10. The sham of all shams: “The activities that are proposed are existing activities whether approved or not Pursuant to CEQA the consideration and analysis of noise impacts must be based on existing noise levels therefore the consideration of the project
    would not significantly increase the ambient noise
    “. This is criminal. Whoever wrote this should be fired.

  11. Kirk, I like rock and roll, but, that doesn’t mean that I have the right to force my neighbors listen to my R & R music. Ask your mother why she gave you a middle name that starts with the letter “K”.

  12. Right on Rudy! The staff guy who coughed up this “analysis” should to be fired. But not until the guy who told him to do it goes first!

  13. Kirk, this is not a bee catching contest, I’m glad to read that you are interested, but, please stick to the subject.

  14. Other than Fullerton, do other cities in Orange County permit live amplified music to be played outdoors at all hours of the day or night?

  15. I missed this as I was in Africa. I own the property next to the Slidebar (122 E. Commonwealth Ave.) They continue to violate the ordinance banning amplified music from their patio. I sent the following message to the police, council and 26 people interested in downtown

    To all interested parties,
    I was alerted this evening that another get drunk early morning party is planned this Friday at the Slidebar, 122 E. Commonwealth Ave in downtown Fullerton. The slidebar continues to violate the city ordinance that prohibits amplified sound on patios.
    By copy of this email I am requesting the police department and city council prevent this disruption of my business from amplified sound and endangerment of my employees and customer from drunk drivers. If it goes ahead I am requesting the Slidebar be cited for violation of the ordinance and declared a public nuisance. In addition the police need to be diligent in stopping and citing all drunk drivers for their protection as well as the protection of the public.
    Thank you for your immediate attention.
    Henry Jones
    120 E. Commonwealth Ave
    Fullerton, Ca. 92832


    Just beacause some downtown bar owners have connections with the City Manager and the City Council is no excuse. I can’t figure out why other property owners downtown don’t stand up for themselves. You’re on the right track! But if Roscoe’s gets a variance on their illegal amplified outdoor music, Slidebar won’t be far behind.

  17. If Jack was involved in the day to day at Roscoe’s, rather than listening to his employee’s (who are now “music scene popular” and no longer “lonely waiters”) I think he would see the light that ANY OUTDOOR amplified music anywhere in Fullerton on a regular basis is inappropriate. Unfortunately, Jack feels attacked and has gone defensive. I do know Jack, and when he gets this way, he’ll fight. It’s too bad, since we all want the same thing: a controlled and ‘nuisanceless’ downtown. He will not get approval for outdoor amplified music and will only damage his reputation in the process. Jack, give it up!

  18. The CIA uses blistering rock as auditory assault at military detention centers. The tactic has been common in the U.S. war on terror, with forces systematically using loud music on detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The music helped break many detainees. Many lost their minds or wound up screaming and smashing their heads against the walls. I feel sorry for those unlucky businesses and residents that have to put up with the loud music eminating from Roscoe’s illegal outdoor patio.

  19. I noticed Sharon Quirk’s sign is still in the window of Roscoes. Didn’t she have a fund raiser at Roscoes just before the election?

  20. History major, yes Roscoes did sponsor a fund raiser for SQ, but, she abstained on a recent vote that would have subsidized Roscoes with fire sprinklers, bathrooms ADA requirements, etc., so the odds are she’ll do the right thing and abstain again.

  21. I saw the recent appeal that Jack Franklin made to the Fullerton City Council and thank God they upheld what the intelligent folks on the planning commission did ; no outside amplified loud music !! You would think it would have been a know brainier — right , but if you watch the video archive at: and bring up the council meeting on Dec. 16, you will see that some of the council people like Sharon Quirk and Dick Jones where actually going to let it ride ! Wow – its almost unbelievable !!
    Anyhow, maybe Jack will finally have to work with his neighbors and come up with a solution that works for everybody in the area and not just him…

  22. Once again Fullerton’s incompetent planning staff completely screws something up with no accountability. The Director has the huevos to get up in front of the Council asking for more time to do proper noise analysis per CEQA! Why didn’t this idiot do it in the first place, before it went to the Planning Commision?

    And not one councilmember thinks anything is ass-backward.
    Something stinks in Downtown Fullerton and it isn’t just Florentine’s kitchen on fish night.

  23. Do you EVER get anything right in your blogs? How do you continue to mislead your followers with erroneous statements and slander? At first I thought it was just your blogs that suck, now I know its your entire website. The future of Fullerton is better off without this site.

  24. Fullerton Police suck, they don’t enforce what matters, instead they look for ways to make a buck, like fining you or writing you tickets, I have lived here 8 years and have yet to see an honest cop in Fullerton

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