Com­mis­sion to con­sider ar­cade per­mit

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By AL­LI­SON GATLIN Val­ley Press Staff Writer [email protected]­

PALM­DALE — The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion will de­bate whether to take the next step by re­view­ing the Con­di­tional Use Per­mit for a “fish game” ar­cade on Palm­dale Boule­vard that has been the site of sev­eral crimes over the past year.

The meet­ing be­gins at 7 p.m. on Thurs­day in the Coun­cil Cham­bers at City Hall, 38300 Sierra Hwy. Suite B.

The “fish game” is a type of video game in which play­ers shoot fish and other sea crea­tures to earn points that may be re­deemed for cash or to con­tinue play­ing. While ad­ver­tised as games of skill, they are of­ten used for gam­bling.

As such, the ar­cades where these games pro­lif­er­ate, tend to at­tract other crimes as­so­ci­ated with gam­bling, such as rob­bery, nar­cotics ac­tiv­ity and some­times vi­o­lence, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port.

Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff’s deputies have re­sponded to sev­eral in­ci­dents over the past year at the ar­cade at 2550 East Palm­dale Blvd., ac­cord­ing to in­ci­dent re­ports in­cluded in the staff re­port.

In Jan­uary 2019, pa­trol deputies check­ing the park­ing lot found two men in a car with what ap­peared to be bro­ken win­dows, with bro­ken glass on the ground around the car. Be­liev­ing the car may have been bro­ken into, the deputies de­tained the men and found one had an out­stand­ing war­rant. When he was searched, deputies found a plas­tic bag of metham­phetamine and a pipe.

In June 2019, pa­trol deputies spoke with two peo­ple out­side the ar­cade who ap­peared to be un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs, one ran away when ques­tioned and was ar­rested on out­stand­ing war­rants and the sec­ond was ar­rested for be­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of a con­trolled sub­stance.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­ci­dent re­port, pa­trol deputies were check­ing the park­ing lot near the ar­cade, be­cause oth­ers who had been ar­rested for drug pos­ses­sion said it was a com­mon site for drug pur­chases.

The staff re­port also lists a rob­bery at the lo­ca­tion on Jan. 10 — the most re­cent in­ci­dent de­tailed at the ar­cade.

The ar­cade op­er­ates un­der a Con­di­tional Use Per­mit ap­proved in Oc­to­ber 2017. Un­der Palm­dale’s mu­nic­i­pal code, the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion may re­view any Con­di­tional Use Per­mit to en­sure the re­cip­i­ent is op­er­at­ing un­der the con­di­tions out­lined, or in a man­ner that is not detri­men­tal to pub­lic health and safety.

The Com­mis­sion, on Thurs­day, will di­rect staff if a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the per­mit is war­ranted, and if so, set a pub­lic hear­ing for its re­view.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion could re­sult in mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the per­mit or it may be re­voked, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port.

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