Meeting Date: 05/12/15 07:00 PM
Meeting Type: Regular
Location: The Mulholland Tennis Club -2555 Crest View Drive
Details: 1. Welcome and general comments.
2. Consider approving minutes of previous committee meetings.
3. Update with regard to last week's Los Angeles City Council Committee on Public Works and Gang Violence Reduction hearing to consider a Santa Monica Mtns. Conservancy appeal of the Board of Public Works granting a categorical exemption from further environmental analysis under CA CEQA of Bulwer Drive, LLC's proposal to pave over the existing dirt roadway and do additional grading and drainage work on the Bulwer hillside going down to Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Consider a proposal to ask the Hollywood Hills West NC board to adopt a community impact statement on Bulwer Drive issues:
Draft Community Impact statement:
HHWNC recommends that the LA City Council grant the SMMC's pending appeal and direct the Department of Public Works to do further environmental anaylsis of any proposal for road paving, grading or drainage on the Bulwer hillside because the hillside is such an important link in the east-west wildlife corridor through the Santa Monica Mtns.
4. Pace Restaurant -2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
This would be a continuation of the discussions at the 10/19/14 and 3/24/15 meetings of Pace Restaurant's still pending application for additional entitlements to (i) go from serving beer and wine to a full range of alcoholic beverages for on site consumption and (ii) expand the size, no of seats, and hours of operation (both indoors and outdoors), and (iii) add disc jokeys and karaoke.
Possible presentation by the restaurant's owner(s).
There still are open questions and concerns which arose after the 10/19/14 meeting, which include (i) whether the restaurant was expanded and operated with the addtional space but without the permits; (ii) whether the patio and othe restaurant space encroaches on the public right of way/public land without required permit, (iii) whether speed humps were installed next to the restaurant without required permits, and (iv) whether there is an LAPD approved valet parking plan.
5. Public comments on non-agendized items.
The meeting began at approximately 7:05 pm.
Orrin Feldman introduced himself and Sean Benaroya, the area 8 committee chair. There were approximately 25 stakeholders present.
The stakeholders voted to approve prior meeting minutes for meetings held on October 14, 2014 and March 24, 2015.
1. Bulwer: Orrin reported on the City Council Committee on Public Works and Gang Violence Reduction's vote (3-0-0) to recommend to the full City Council to grant the Santa Monica Mtns. Conservancy's appeal of the Board of Public Works' decision to approve a categorical exemption from further CEQA analysis for the proposal to pave Bulwer Drive's dirt road and do additional grading and drainage on that hillside. Questions and answers followed as part of a discussion with and among the stakeholders present.
Orrin reported that the next step would be for the City Council to put the committee's recommendation with regard to Bulwer Drive on the City Council's agenda.
Orrin asked the stakeholders to consider and vote on a draft community impact statement, which would be taken as a recommendation for the full Hollywood HIlls West Neighborhood Council board to adopt. The stakeholders voted unanimously to recommend the following proposal for a community impact statement:
"HHWNC recommends that the LA City Council grant the SMMC's pending appeal and direct the Department of Public Works to do further environmental analysis of any proposal for road paving, grading or drainage on the Bulwer hillisde because the hillside is such an important link in the east-west wildlife corridor through the Santa Monica Mtns."
Sandy Gendel, the Pace Restaurant's owner, and Patrick Panzarello, the restaurant's consultant, spoke on behalf of their application for additional entitlements under the restaurant's conditional use permit (CUP) during what was a contentious discussion. Pace Restaurant is located at 2100 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Mr. Gendel mentioned that (i) there was an LAPD approved valet parking plan, and (ii) that the restaurant had a lease for 25 parking spaces at 2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd. or an adjacent property to the south, both of which are owned by Jose Luis Nazar. Mr. Gendel undertook to provide copies to Orrin, but didn't. Orrin expressed concern that 2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd. is in an R-1 zoned area, where only single family home residential use, is allowed absent a variance or other discretionary approval for any commercial operation, including valet parking for a restaurant.
Mr. Gendel answered some stakeholder questions about ongoing live music at Pace by stating that everybody loves music, but that he would cease having live music on monday evenings and some tuesday evenings while the restaurant's CUP application was pending if that was what the stakeholders wanted.
Two stakeholders asked whether unpermitted construction to expand the restaurant had resulted in citations and/or any criminal conviction(s) for the building's owner(s). Mr. Gendel stated at first that the building's owner had incurred a criminal conviction as a result of how the restaurant had been built and/or operated, but then seemed to pull back from that statement. There was no clear answer or understanding at the end of the discussion.
Several stakeholder questioned Mr. Gendel's answers and credibility.
Mr. Gendel was angered. Mr. Gendel asked why Orrin (and others) were out to get him "from day one", which they denied, and he left the meeting.
Several stakeholders made brief comments on non-agendized items, including the upcoming repaving of portions of Mulholland Drive.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 8:45 pm.