Santa Rosa shuts down teen night club over permit flap

  • Sachi Woods, left, Mason Woods, center and Jordan Castaneda, right, attach fireproof fabric to benches during last minute preparations for opening "PinkDrift" a nightclub for teens held at La Pinata on Piner Road in Santa Rosa, June 26, 2014. The city on Wednesday ordered the La Piñata kids party center on Piner Road to cease operations. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa officials have shut down a Piner Road business they say had been operating a teen nightclub without proper permits.

The city on Wednesday ordered the La Piñata kids party center to cease operations after it continued allowing a Rohnert Park man to throw teen dance parties in violation of its use permit, said Mark Setterland, the city’s chief building official.

The city previously had warned promoter Dane Woods that the “PinkDrift” dance parties he was running in the evenings at La Piñata were illegal.

Officials say La Piñata’s use permit was geared toward private parties for kids and their families, not for teen dance parties open to the public. Woods has been charging $15 admission for dance parties for kids 12 to 15 years old, and $20 for nights geared toward 16- to 20-year-olds.

“We’ve made it real clear to them they are not authorized for their PinkDrift parties and they continued anyway,” Setterland said.

Woods said Thursday he had canceled all future PinkDrift events and is considering whether to sue the city over what he says is unfair treatment he got at City Hall.

“I can promise you that this is not the end of it,” Woods said.

The city Wednesday morning issued a cease-and-desist order to vacate the premises. The orders applies not just to the PinkDrift parties, but also to La Piñata, which featured bounce houses, video games and a room where kids could open presents and eat cake and ice cream.

In September 2013, the city did allow La Piñata to extend its hours of operation from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. A few months later, the business sought the right to serve alcohol, but the city denied that request.

In addition to birthday parties for young kids, La Piñata also catered to teens, holding quinceañera and Sweet 16 parties. Woods saw his PinkDrift nightclub concept as a way to take those dance parties to a new level.

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