PLEASANT HILL -- Citing a history of criminal activity linked to a former Blue Devils bingo parlor, the Planning Commission on Tuesday denied a use permit for a new parlor for the nonprofit youth drill team.
Tom Hope of Sacramento applied for the permit to open a nonprofit bingo parlor in the Country Square Shopping Center in the 500 block of Contra Costa Boulevard. The bingo parlor, which would have raised money for the Concord-based Blue Devils, was to be open seven days a week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Hope previously ran a Blue Devils bingo parlor in the same building from 2004 to 2009. During that time, Pleasant Hill police received reports of thefts, assaults and other criminal activity related to the bingo parlor. Police urged commissioners to deny the use permit, citing similar reports linked to the Blue Devils' Concord bingo parlor.
If the planning commissioners had allowed Hope to withdraw the application -- as he requested in a Nov. 7 letter to the city -- he could have reapplied for a similar use permit at the same location without waiting at least one year.
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.