Meeting Date: 08/14/13 05:30 PM

Meeting Type: Regular

Location: Will & Ariel Durant Library, 7140 Sunset Blvd., LA, CA 90046

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 June 26, 2013. The draft minutes are posted and available for your review on this website under the committee's meetings archive.

3. 6925 amd 6801 Hollywood Boulevard – The Chinese 6 Marquee Theaters.

At the PLUM committee's June 26, 2013 meeting, the committee discussed whether (or not) to recommend to HHWNC's board to support the theater owner/operator's request for a permit to install digital billboards on the buildings' exteriors.  The committee decided to table consideration until the committee's next meeting, and asked the theater's manager to bring renderings of the proposed digital billboards.

Just this week, the PLUM committee found one such rendering in the theater owner/operator's application to the Planning Department. A copy of the rendering has been posted under the committee's articles list on the PLUM committee's page at www.hhwnc.org. for your convenience.

At this time, the Theater's owner/operator is asking the Planning Department to treat the proposed digital billboard signs as "marquee signs" under the Hollywood Signage Supplemental Use District's Ordinance.  But, alternatively, if the Planning Department decides that the proposed signs are not marquee signs, then the Theater's owner/operator is asking the Planning Department to use the Department's discretionary authority under the Ordinance to grant a specific exception to the Ordinance's requirements. 

Under the City's Ordinance which established the Hollywood Signage Supplemental Use District, the Ordinance's goals include limiting visual cutter by regulating the number, size and location of signs. The Planning Department seems to have the right to impose conditions if it grants an exception to the Ordinance's requirements.

And, in order for any exception to be granted, the Planning Department must find that:

(i) strict compliance with the Ordinance would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship inconsistent with the purposes of the zoning restrictions due to unique physical or topographic circumstances or conditions of design;

(ii) strict compiance would deprive the applicant of privileges enjoyed by a similar property owner; and

(iii) an exception would not constitute a grant of special privilege.

The initial decision maker for the Planning Department with regard to any exception request in this case would seem to be the Central Area Planning Commission.

Alwyn Hight Kushner will be representing the theater owner/operator.

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is APCC 2013-346.
 
4.  2111-2115 N. Cahuenga Blvd.

Encore Hollywood Associates, LLC, the owner of these two vacant lots, has made an application to the Planning Department for expedited processing for approval in the form of vesting a tentative tract map in order to build a condominium with 18 units with 36 parking spots for residents and 4 parking spots for guests on the two lots.

The larger lot is zoned for commercial use. The smaller lot is zoned for single family residential use.  Encore is asking the Planning Department to approve a variance to allow multifamily visitor parking on the lot which is zoned for single family use.

Dominic Hong of TDA Consultants will be representing Encore.

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is VTT-Map No. 72377-SL.  The CA CEQA case no. is ENV-2013-2163-EAF.

Please note that, at this committee's very first meeting, which was held on November 5, 2012, this committee considered a proposed motel for this site.  The committee did not support the application for the motel. Subsequently, the Planning Department declined to approve the application for the motel.

5.  2001 N. Hillcrest Road.

Deirdre Ryan, the owner, has applied to the Planning Department for a variance to allow two units in the 4-unit apartment building on the property to have no required parking spaces, which otherwise would be required.

Deidre Ryan and/or Alex Woo of Genesis Consulting may be at the meeting to speak on behalf of the owner. 

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2013-2181(ZV.) 

6.  6613 Hollywood Blvd. – Lucky Devils Restaurant

Lucky Vanous and Paul Burrus have applied to the Planning Department to (i) renew a Type 41 conditional use permit to sell beer and wine at their Lucky Devils restaurant, and (ii) add live entertainment, which would be a DJ or up to 4 live musicians.

The existing restaurant has operated for 8 years. It's is 1,988 square feet, and has 42 seats. 98 square feet is an outdoor patio with 6 seats. The existing hours of operation are 24 hours daily, with alcohol sales from 11 am to 1:45 am daily.

With regard to the entertainment request, the application states that "the addition of live entertainment is fitting to the character of the Hollywood lifestyle and community"…..as well as that "granting the requested entitlement will not alter the character or manner in which the restaurant is operated, nor the applicant's dedication to safety, responsibility and committment to service".

The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2013-1906. 

7.  Public comments on any non-agendized items.

8.  Adjournment. 

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

There was a quorum of the voting members of the committee present when this meeting began at 5:30 pm.  15 stakeholders were present.

The committeee reviewed the draft minutes of its June 26th meeting.  The minutes were approved unanimously.

1.  6925 and 6801 Hollywood Blvd. – The Chinese 6 Marquee Theaters

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

No one came to represent the theaters at the meeting.

The committee's chair explained the current status of the case pending at the Planning Department. Specifically, the theater is applying for an exception to the requirements of the Hollywood Signage Supplemental Use District's ordinance in order to obtain permission to add certain digital awnings and/or billboards on the exterior of the historic theater building.

The committee voted to ask the theater's representative, Alwyn Hight Kushner, to provide renderings showing the current theater facade and how the theater is proposing to change the facade's signage. This is precisely what Ms. Kushner agreed to do at the committee's June 16th meeting for the committee's August meeting.  

The committee also voted to ask the Planning Department to hold off making any decision on the application pending the committee's review and making recommendation(s).

The votes were (3-1-0) in favor of the motion.  Ms. Prange voted against the motion because she liked the proposed signage and would like Hollywood Blvd. to be more like Times Square and Bourbon Street.  On the other hand, the majority on the committee was concerned that the theater might be unable to satisfy the Ordinance's requirements that the proposed signage be appropriately scaled to the architectuarl character of the buildings, that the proposed signage be a complementary enhancement to the building, and that all the existing and proposed signs result in a visually uncluttered appearance.

Moreover, the majority thought it was likely that strict compliance with the Ordinance wouldn't be practically difficult or an unnecessary hardship, that others didn't enjoy similar privileges to the proposed exception and that an exception might well constitute a grant of a special privilege.

The majority recognized that the Chinese 6 Marquee Theaters seem to be the second most well known theater in the USA after Radio City Music Hall and, therefore, that the theater would not suffer from keeping the existing signage while this matter is being reviewed, and that removing the theater's two sided digital billboard awning on the adjacent shopping center portion of the theater's operations might well be advised in order to minimize and/or eliminate visual clutter there, which is the third listed priority/purpose under the Ordinance's Section 2.
 
2.  2111-2115 N. Cahuenga Blvd. – The Planning  Dept.'s case no. is VTT-Map. No. 72377-SL. 

Edward Gallagher of Encore Hollywood Associates, LLC and Dominic Hong presented a proposal to build an 18 unit condominium building on two lots with 36 residential parking spaces and 4 guest parking spaces. They are seeking a variance to allow the guest parking on the R-1 zoned lot.

The committee voted unanimously (5-0-0) to recommend that the HHWNC's board that the board support the proposed project, including the variance request, and recommended that the project should include more guest parking if that were possible.

3.  2001 N. Hillcrest Road – The Planning Dept.'s case no. is ZA 2013-2181(ZV).

No one came to the meeting to represent the owner of the apartment building.

The committee decided to table to matter to the next meeting in the hope that the owner or the owner's representative would attend that meeting.

4.  6613 Hollywood Blvd. – Lucky Devils Restaurant

Rachel Finer of the Elizabeth Petersen Group and Lucky Vanous and Paul Burrus, the owners, presented their request to renew the restaurant's conditional use permit to sell beer and wine and to add some forms of live entertainment, such as a quartet and DJ.

The committee voted unanimously (5-0-0) to recommend to the HHWNC board to support the renewal of the conditional use permit, but voted (4-1-0) to recommend that the proposed addition of live entertainment should be denied under the restaurant's Type 41 license.

The committee is hoping that some wording can be worked out with the Planning Dept. before the HHWNC's next board meeting to restrict any new live entertainment to a DJ for weekend brunches and a maximum of two musicians in the evening.

There was no parking required under the existing CUP, and the committee didn't request any additional parking.  Similarly, the existing hours of operation are from 11 am to 1:45 am daily, and would remain the same under the renewed CUP even though the restaurant currently is closing at 10 pm.

5. There were no public comments on nonagendized items.

6. The meeting was adjourned approximatlely at 7:05.

The committee's next meetings are scheduled for wednesdays on September 11, 2013 and October 9, 2013 at The Durant Public Library's community room. 

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