Council hears of Club Mega issues

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Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:00 am

Bellevue’s newest nightclub has received eight citations for excessive noise and was the target of a citizen complaint at the March 24 Bellevue City Council session.

Bellevue Police Chief Mark Elbert told council members that Club Mega at 605 Fort Crook Road N., has received numerous citations and that the problem “is very much on our radar.”

He said the citations have yet to come before a judge.

“It’s my understanding they have not been to court yet, and it’s our hope that when they do appear before a judge some of this will be resolved,” he said.

Elbert made his comments after council members heard testimony from Debora Rospierski, who lives directly east of the Latin-themed nightclub, which opened New Year’s Eve.

“We’ve had nothing but problems since Jan. 1,” she said. “Sometimes it starts at 11:30 at night, sometimes it starts at 1:30 at night. We have fighting, we have broken bottles, we have to call the police numerous times, and, you know, if they’re warned once to shut the music lower I think they should abide by that.”

Rospierski said the noise, which she described as “loud thumping,” is robbing her and her husband of sleep and described the problem as “totally out of hand.”

“I understand Bellevue wants to bring business to town,” she said. “But what kind of business did they bring to town? Nothing but fighting and loud music. We get nothing out of it. We lose sleep. They can’t pay us back in sleep.”

Councilmen Paul Cook and Steve Knutson said the club’s emphasis on music is not what they expected when the proposal came before the council.

“I thought the restaurant was to be the main business, and the music would be secondary, periodic and once in a while,” Cook said. “I wonder if maybe we weren’t somewhat misled. If this is every weekend I can honestly say I did not anticipate this when it came before the council.”

Knutson agreed with Cook, but said the zoning is appropriate for a nightclub and the city cannot prevent a club from operating at the site. He warned, however, the club might have to close if it proves a public nuisance.

“As much money as that man has put into that club I can’t believe he would want to lose his business,” Knutson said.

Statistics provided by the Bellevue Police Department show Club Mega has been open 12 weekends since Dec. 31 and that complaint calls were received on 15 of those nights.

There have been a total of 40 calls for service, and eight citations have been written.

A police report dated Feb. 6 shows that more than 100 people filled the QT convenience store at 1311 Fort Crook Road N., immediately after Club Mega closed, not counting people milling about in the parking lot. Only about 30 people were estimated to have purchased anything.

The report states the QT clerk suspected that items were being stolen, and as a result QT now closes for 30 minutes whenever Club Mega closes.

Mike Thornbrugh, spokesman for the QT chain, said such temporary closings are common practice for QT stores located near nightclubs whose clients tend to overwhelm the stores when the clubs close.

“It’s not unusual, in other places that we operate, from time to time, that you have certain bars or lounges that have special events, you just get overrun with too many people to accommodate,” he said. “And with all due respect, if they’ve been drinking there’s always issues that come along with that.”

Fidel Favela, owner of Club Mega, said he had consulted with his attorney and would have no comment at this time.

Elbert told Rospierski the police have limited authority and can’t shutter the club without proper authorization.

“There are some things we are doing to be fair and to observe due process,” he said. “I understand your frustration, and my officers are trying to be helpful, at the same time there are certain legal restrictions on what we can and can’t do.”

Mayor Rita Sanders assured Ropsierski that her concerns are being heard at City Hall.

“We hear you loud and clear,” she said.

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