City of Palmdale

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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