Nothing Is Being Done About the Night Time Firecrackers and Parties Along Sunset Cliffs

by on September 9, 2020 · 25 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Judi Curry

Nightly since before July 4th, my southern Ocean Beach neighborhood has gone to sleep and been awakened by the sound of firecrackers. I can count on one hand how many nights this has not been the case. They start early and go on until the wee hours of the night.

Frequently there are large parties with cars parked in the Sunset Cliffs parking lots, with cars parked on Sunset Cliffs itself, and with cars parked on all of the side streets leading to the ocean.  Those cars that are parked in the lots almost always have lights with them to shine on the revelers dancing, smoking, and shooting off firecrackers. (Please notice that I purposely use the word “firecrackers” – not fireworks.) Yes, sometimes fireworks are used, but usually it is M80s that echo off the water’s edge and project all the way up to Santa Barbara Street.  (Just ask people that live near the Thursday Club.)

The crowds have been enormous.  Sometimes they even erect tents on the parking lots and have chairs and tables inside of them.  In a call to the police department I have been told that having large crowds, no masks and 6 inches between people is not against the law.  At this time it is only “suggested” that distance be utilized.  Not wearing a mask is not enough reason to have people disperse. I was told that noise is a reason to stop the parties but I do not see it being done.

Sunday night there were over 200 people in the parking lot on Sunset Cliffs.  What were they doing? They were having a “drumming”. I do not know if these were the same people that have a drumming following the Farmers Market, but this is a residential area, not a commercial area, and the noise was deafening.  For hours.  And hours.  And hours. Someone told me that it was a “Christian” group praying for an end to Covid.  I don’t care if it was a Christian group, a Jewish Group, a Muslim Group, a Buddhist Group, etc.  I thought prayers were quiet. This was nauseating.  Whoever said, “ . . . and the beat goes on . .” wasn’t listening to drumming hours on end!

There was a call for an ambulance and life guards while this “prayer” group was going on and they both had trouble getting to the area because of cars double parked on the street; traffic slowed because they were looking for a parking place, etc.  The first responders blew their horns in addition to the sirens being on – but the pace was slow.  When the ambulance was returning with a patient in it, it was the same problem – the traffic was horrific; people were stopped at the new 4 way stop sign – (which, in my opinion was a horrible mistake in the first place) – and it was all the ambulance could do to get the patient to the hospital. The police were there, following the other emergency vehicles.  I did not see them stop at the drumming group.

This morning was a new situation.  Shadow, my Golden Retriever, and everyone else in this household – and the neighborhood too if you read “Next Door” – was awakened at 5:00am by 9 fire crackers being shot off.  They were heard all over the Point – from the Cliffs to the Thursday Club and points beyond and in-between.  I heard that the police were there and were driving around trying to find the culprits, but were not successful. (And I do not know if this is an actuality.)

I have talked to Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s office about this problem, and I was promised a meeting would be held to discuss the situation.  Not surprisingly, no meeting has been called.

There is a simple remedy to this problem.

I’ve mentioned it before and I will mention it again.  It shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do, because it is done in Pacific Beach and La Jolla.  (I’m tired of being a “step-child” to the city!).

Close the parking lots from 10:00 pm to 6:00a m.  Then when there are people partying after 10:00 pm, ticket them. Easy! Revenue for the city, and those of us that need to sleep a full night can rest easy.

What is so difficult in putting up signs and then enforcing them?  I’d be willing to contribute a few bucks to have it done. Much cheaper than building an abomination along the Midway area.  Anyone with me?



{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Guy September 9, 2020 at 10:17 am

LOL – you must be a hoot to hang out with.


Judi Curry September 9, 2020 at 10:24 am

I am!


GML September 9, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Guy, I think many/most residents in this area share Judy’s frustration with the firecrackers (M80’s) being lit off at all hours of the night almost every night of the week since before July 4th. Especially those of us with pets. I cannot even imagine the effect it may have on someone suffering from PTSD.


Guy September 11, 2020 at 12:00 pm

I am old enough to remember when summertime was filled with fireworks and firecrackers – how wonderful. July 4th – always fun right??

I live in OB proper, and yes we have had some actually wonderful firework shows around 11pm a few nights in July and August. Take it for what it is worth – a small piece of beauty and fun in this world that is lacking for both.

I’ve heard a few M80s/firecrackers but nothing to write an article about – priorities people!

Again, if you live on Sunset Cliffs, close enough to the parking lots to see them – this is the tradeoff you face – busy crowds and noise.

It would be like you complaining about the airplanes…oh wait I read that article.

Live and Let Live Judy – life is better that way


GML September 11, 2020 at 3:01 pm

I live at the top of the hill from OB. I’ve heard and been woken up by fireworks on average 5 nights per week since the end of July. This has nothing to do with celebrating July 4th or a firework show.


GML September 11, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Guy, you are incredibly far off base. I live at the top of the hill from OB. On average, I’ve been woken up multiple times per night, 5 nights per week since the end of June due to firecrackers throughout the neighborhood. Many times these are between 2 and 4 am. This has absolutely nothing to do with celebrating July 4th or any kind of visual firework “show”.


Jon September 11, 2020 at 3:09 pm

That’s not live and let live. That’s just being a jerk and telling everyone else to deal with it. OBceans love a good party and so do I. 4th of July, NYE, and an occasional summer weekend with fireworks I can deal with. But 3am every Tuesday setting off M80’s down the street startling us out of bed and having to calm a shivering pet is NOT wonderful beautiful fun. It’s criminal. In 20+ years living here I’ve never dealt with this level of bs.


Paul Webb September 9, 2020 at 12:08 pm

“Not surprisingly, no meeting has been called.” That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it. Wonder what the reaction would be if this happened in Clairemont or Bay Park?


nostalgic September 9, 2020 at 3:28 pm

For noise, go to Scroll down, and you will see: Get it Done. Select I need to:
Report. Go to the next column. Select: Noise Complaint. Click on the blue button that says: Report Now. Fill it in. You don’t need a lot of detail. When you do check with Jennifer Campbell’s office, they will check this file in their computer, and may declare that nobody had a problem; you are the only person complaining. How many people did report it? How many times? Do you think it doesn’t do any good? But this is the city’s metric. This may not be the way you want to do it, but this is the way the city works.


Geoff Page September 9, 2020 at 3:35 pm

First, nostalgic, there should be no need to report this at all, the PD have to be fully aware of what is happening as they patrol the area. Second, why does it take more than one complaint to get attention? This is not one person complaining about a barking dog, it is clearly much bigger. And third, maybe more people have not bothered to report it because they have had enough experience with the do-nothing council member and the mayor.


Judi Curry September 9, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Have reported it before. Will do it again. You probably have a brunt of of noise living where you do. Have you reported it?


Foo September 9, 2020 at 9:52 pm

I am so sorry you have to deal with this crap, Judi. I think closing the parking lots down there at night is an excellent idea. This same partying used to go on at Crown Point many years ago until they slapped a big fence across the parking lots and locked them at night. Good luck!


Toby September 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Closing the parking lots pushes the problem into the surrounding neighborhood. Those of us who live in the area rember only too well the traffic, crowds, and garbage they dumped on our lawns and in the streets when the parking on Sunset Cliffs was closed earlier this summer because of COVID. Calls the Campbell’s and Faulkner’s office were ignored.

The problem is enforcement. Issue parking permits to residents to display in their vehicles. Post signs on the streets in the residential areas noting parking hours as well as the fines ($1000.00). Then patrol the residential area after hours and issue tickets to those without a residential parking permit parking after the designated hours.

While we’re at it; we have kids lined up to jump off the Cliffs in spite of signs being posted prohibiting this activity. This cliff jumpers are frequently injured and some have died.
How about fencing the edges of the cliff to block them from jumping off?
Yes, the fence isn’t aesthetic; but people getting injured, crowds lining up like a ride at DisneyLand and stomping through the vegetation at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park isn’t a great aesthetic either.

How do we get this rolling for solutions? The elected officials are not doing anything.

Enough already!


Will September 10, 2020 at 4:57 am

I agree that crowds and noise at night in a residential neighborhood is a giant PITA.

I also have to chuckle at Ms. Curry’s description of her neighborhood as “south Ocean Beach.”.

Not unlike the recent phenomenon of white people claiming to be black for various reasons, someone who obviously lives close enough to the cliffside parking lots to observe the nightly crowds and hear the firecrackers lives in Point Loma, not Ocean Beach.

Ms. Curry, it’s OK to live in Point Loma and write about Ocean Beach. But please, don’t insult our intelligence by calling Point Loma “south Ocean Beach.”


Peter from South O September 10, 2020 at 6:37 am

Correct. OB ends at Adair to the South and Froude to the East. 4604 Adair is the SE corner of OB.


nostalgic September 10, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Where do you think OB is? The district boundary is Adair Street on the South end. If you are on Nextdoor, it is even further. But we all know OB is a state of mind. Did you know that Robb Field is a part of Mission Bay Park? Just in case someone thought it was North OB.


Geoff Page September 10, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Point Loma is the name of the entire peninsula, there is no “Point Loma” neighborhood. The Peninsula is divided into neighborhoods. The one she lives in is technically named Sunset Cliffs. But, so what? OB is part of Point Loma anyway.


Judi Curry September 10, 2020 at 11:02 am

Will, I am glad you had a chuckle over the area that I wrote about. You have insulted me – you are forgiven because you are a male – because I do not live in Point Loma. If you want to be very accurate I live in “Sunset Cliffs”. If you look at a map you will see there is a distinction between the two. And, further, for your information, I live 1 1/2 blocks from the boundary line of “Ocean Beach.” All that separates me from that area is one alley and one street. It is also referred to on maps as “South Ocean Beach.” Semantics has also been an interesting subject – you have just added to it.


Geoff Page September 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm

You were doing fine until you had to throw in “because you are a male.”


Judi Curry September 10, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Only reason I mentioned that, Geoff, is usually a woman will not talk about directions. We ask for directions – but we don’t usually refer to them in a text.


Geoff Page September 11, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Actually, Judi, men use their cell phones or the GPS in their cars. This amazing invention has robbed women of one of their favorite, and I would say unfounded, “wives tales” claiming that men refuse to ask for directions even when it is obvious they need to. The premise is that men are stupid and will let their own ego get in the way of doing the intelligent thing that women tell them to do and ask for directions.

Well, here is an old man’s perspective having spent a lifetime around women. Many a man out there will confirm that women are worriers and they trust no one but themselves, and certainly never a man. Many’s the time when the woman was insisting they ask for directions when the man knew where he’s going. While the idea that some men are this stubborn is true, it is clearly not all of us. And the idea that men would never get anywhere without women insisting they ask for directions, is clearly also a myth.


Judi Curry September 10, 2020 at 11:15 am

CORRECTION: I have been told that they are finding boxes of fireworks as well as the M80’s I referred to in my article. They are not sure where they are coming from – maybe Arizona – or Mexico. So there is a combination of both fireworks and firecrackers. Sorry if I slighted anyone.


Randi September 10, 2020 at 12:12 pm

The 9 fireworks (they were fireworks because I saw them in the sky) at 5am the other day were launched on Alhambra Street, about 2-4 houses West of Guizot. I was in my backyard at the time and saw the area pretty clearly. I’m hoping that the people on Alhambra in the area of Guizot can identify who the culprits are on their street.


Wayne September 11, 2020 at 9:16 am

Firecrackers wake you up, then the tires screech as some drive away and the next thing you know 3 blocks from the beach a car crashes into a wall in a front yard. Happens to be my front yard, luckily they were arrested and taken away in cuffs. A lot of screaming about “I can’t breath”…from drunken women, in cuffs? All this screaming and yelling at the police without masks. Glad I am not an officer of the law. Neighbors see it all, we laugh and shake our heads, glad someone went to jail for all the hoopla.


Mary Fewel September 11, 2020 at 1:17 pm

I live on Alhambra, one of the few homes without a fenced front yard, I have lost count of the number of times I have been awakened by couples coupling for lack of a better word, fireworks are over in a short period of time, I am stuck listening to the moaning and groaning often times for 20-30 minutes, I have flicked my front porch lights on/off, banged on my window, clapped loudly, so now I put a pillow over my head, I doubt the police would respond, but, they are tresspassing,


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