Meeting Date: 05/08/13 05:30 PM

Meeting Type: Regular

Location: Will & Ariel Durant Library, 7140 Sunset Blvd.

Details: 1.  Welcome, introductions and general comments on the PLUM Committee's operations by the committee's chairperson.

2.  Review the draft minutes of the committee's meeting on April 10, 2013. The draft minutes are posted and available for your review on this website under the committee's meetings archive.

3.  2011 N. Highland Blvd. – The Best Western Hotel's Spice Restaurant

The hotel's owner(s) have a pending appliction with the City's Planning Department for a conditional use permit to allow the hotel to sell beer, wine and a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at the hotel's Spice Restaurant. The restaurant has 26 seats, and no outdoor dining. The proposed hours of operation would be from 6 am to 12 am daily.  There will be family dining, no minimum age for entry and recorded background music playing in the restaurant.

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2012-1806 CUB.

Sherrie Olson wil be making the presentation on behalf of the hotel.

4.  6925 and 6801 Hollywood Blvd. – The Chinese 6 Marquee Theaters.

At the PLUM commmittee's April 10, 2013 meeting, the committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the theatre operator's proposal for renovating the buildings' exterior in connection with the theater's conversion to the IMAX format, including converting two billboards, which face Hollywood Blvd., to become digital billboards on the condition that the digital billboards would show advertising solely for the movies being presented at the theaters, rather than advertising for "outside" advertisers.  

Alwyn Hight Kushner and Payton Hall will be asking the PLUM committee to approve outside advertising, meaning no limitations on what could be advertised, on those two digital billboards.

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is APCC 2013-346.

5.  6757-6763 Hollywood Blvd. – Club Marbella.

The Central Area Planning Commission will hold a public hearing after 4:30 pm on thursday, May 14, 2013 at LA City Hall's room 1060.  The club's owner/operator has appealed a zoning administrator's decision to prohibit the ongoing use of an outdoor patio after 10 pm.  The patio is adjacent to The Jefferson, a mixed use apartment/retail building on Highland.  The zoning administrator's decision was part of a larger decision approving a conditional use permit's renewal to allow the ongoing sale of a full line of alcoholic beverages at the club. The zoning administrator seemed concerned that the outdoor patio's operations would interfere with the The Jefferson tennant's rights to quietly enjoy, including getting some sleep in, their apartments.     

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2012-0090-CUB-1A. 

Lee Rabun, Esq. will be making a presentation to explain the club owner/operator's reasons for appealing the zoning administrator's decision.

6.  Discuss the shopping center located just outside of HHWNC's area at the southwest corner of the Crescent Height/Sunset Blvd. intersection. The change from free parking to parking fees there has generated some complaints. And, it seems that the shopping center is not included in any neighborhood council's area.  The committee will consider (i) the complaints, and (ii) whether the PLUM Committee should recommend that the HHWNC board ask the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners to approve a boundary adjustment to include the site in HHWNC's area.

7.  Discuss (i) whether the PLUM Committee should draft a checklist of discussion items and/or conditions for approving conditional use permit applications for beer, wine and alcohol sales, and (ii) whether restaurant/club promoters should be prohibited under such CUPs in HHWNC's area.

8. Public comments on any non-agendized items.

9.  Adjournment.

The committee's next meeting is scheduled for wednesday, June 12, 2013. The meeting will be held from 5:30 to7:50 pm in The Durant Public Libarary's community room.

PLUM Committee members Orrin Feldman, Jeff Papes, Jim Geoghan, Joshua Kopel and Mary Prange were present.  Area committee chairs Robin Moreno, Joyce Dyrector and Barbara Witkin were present.

There was a quorum of the voting members of the committee present when this meeting began at 5:33 pm. 27 stakeholders were present.

The committee reviewed the draft minutes of its April 10th meeting. The minutes were approved unanimously.

1.  2011 N Highland Blvd. The Best Western Hotel's Spice Restaurant. The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2012-1808 CUB.

Sherrie Olson and an owner of the hotel made a presentation and answered questions about the hotel's pending application for conditional use permit, Type 47, to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages for on site consumption in the restaurant from 6 am to 10 am daily.  Some members of the committee were concerned about the 6 am starting time, and the hotel agreed to push the starting time back.

The PLUM committee voted (6-0-1) to recommend to the HHWNC Board that the Board support the hotel owner's pending application for a conditional use permit, Type 47, to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption in the restaurant, but only from 10 am to 12 am daily.

2.  8150 Sunset Blvd.'s parking lot – While the PLUM committee isn't certain yet whether the site is included in any neighborhood council's area, the committee was concerned about recent reports that the new owners of the shopping center have imposed parking fees for customers visiting the shopping center.

City Council Member Tom LaBonge's Planning Deputy Jonathan Brand joined the committee and the stakeholders, including one of the board members of BABNC, to discuss this change.  Jack Henningsen, Esq., representing some of the shopping center's tennants, and Gabe Kramer of Marathon Communications, a consultant for the new shopping center owners, were there and paricipated, although Mr. Kramer declined to discuss the merits of the problem because there is an ongoing court case/litigation between the tennants and the new owners.

The PLUM committee's chair explained that the prior contional use permit approval letters relating to parking and circulation/traffic on the site seemed to require the shopping center owners to ask the Planning Department and, perhaps, the LA DOT, for permission to make any changes in how traffic moves in and around the site.  Mr. Henningsen mentioned that the new charges could not be justified as benefiting the general welfare of anyone in the City of Los Angeles.  Several stakeholders and committee members expressed strong opposition to the new parking fees.

The PLUM commtitee declined to recommend that the HHWNC Board take any action at this time, and expects that Mr. Brand will be providing more information about this issue, which the commmittee expects to take up again at its next meeting on June 12th.
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3.  6925 and 6801 Hollywood Blvd. – The Chinese 6 Marquee Theaters  The Planning Dept.'s case no. is APCC 2013-346.

The PLUM commmittee chair read an email from Alwyn Hight Kushner about why she was unable to attend, and asking to make another presentation at that June 12th meeting.

The PLUM committe decided to continue the matter over to that meeting, and also voted (5-1-0) to maintain the recommnedation approving the theater operator's proposal for converting the buildings' exterior in connection with the theaters' conversion to the IMAX format, including converting two billboards which face HOllywood Blvd. to become digital billboards, but ONLY on the condition that the opertor agrees tht the digital billboards would show advertising solely for (and related to) to the movies being presented at the theaters, rather than advertising for "outside" advertisers.

The one dissenter wanted more light on Hollywood Blvd., noted that Mdm. Tussaud's already has digital billboards with outside advertising and thought it was appropriate for Hollywood Blvd. to be a "crazy" place.

4. 6757-6763 Hollywood Blvd. – Club Marbella. The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2012-0090-CUB-1A.  

Lee Rabun, Club Marbella's consultant, and David Boulour, as the property's owner, discussed their appeal of a zoning administrator's denial of the club's continuing to use an outdoor patio after 10 pm, as well as two other new conditions, which were imposed in a zoning administrator's letter approving the renewal of the conditiona use permit to sell alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at the club.

The PLUM Committee's chair also read an email from one of the LAPD Hollywood Division Vice Officers with regard to the officer's opinion that the club's operator(s) (who are different than the club's owners) had a history of noncompliance with coditional use permits, and had not been cooperative in particular with regard to an
investigation of recent club shootings which resulted in the death of a 19 year old girl. 

The PLUM committee declined to recommend to the HHWNC Board tht it take any postion on the Club's appeal to the Central Area Planning Commission because the appeal seemingly involves (and revolves around) a very technical legal issue as
well as the validity of some noise complaints which the ZA may have relied upon.

5.  Discussion of any checklist of conditions for conditional use permits was tabled to the next meeting.

6.  There were no public comments on nonagendized items. Adjournment was at 7:45 pm.

The committee's next meeting is scheduled for wednesday, June 12, 2013. The meeting will be held from 5:30 pm to 7:50 pm in The Durant Public Library's community room. 

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