Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

GWNC Land Use Committee Discusses Liquor Permits, Proposed Office Building

Members of the GWNC Land Use Committee at last night’s monthly meeting.


At its monthly meeting last night, the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood’s Land Use Committee discussed a specific application to serve beer and wine at a Melrose Ave. ramen restaurant, the more general issue of liquor permits on Larchmont Blvd., and a large office building project proposed for the corner of Melrose Ave. and Seward St.  It also heard about an appeal hearing tomorrow for the residential project planned and approved by the city last year for 500 N. Larchmont Blvd.


5784 W. Melrose



The Ramen Melrose restaurant, at 5784 W. Melrose, is applying for a permit to allow the sale and dispensing of beer and wine for both on-site consumption with dine-in food orders, and for inclusion with take-out food orders, between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 a.m.  Committee discussion centered mostly on the take-out service and the hours of the proposed permit, with the applicant’s representatives noting that ramen restaurants are known for their late-night hours, but assuring committee members that alcohol would only be available with meals (the restaurant serves ramen, sushi, Bento boxes, and more).  After clarifying these details, the committee members urged the applicants to discuss the proposal with both the Hancock Park Homeowners Association and the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association, which represent the adjacent neighborhoods, and then voted unanimously to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the project as presented, until more feedback is sought and received from those associations and other nearby neighbors.


Liquor Permits on Larchmont Blvd.



Although not fully discussed at this meeting, the larger topic of liquor permits for restaurants along Larchmont Blvd. was raised last night when the city’s new Restaurant Beverage Program came up under the more general topic of new and pending land use legislation.  Committee member Jane Usher noted that the RBP, which was passed by the City Council earlier this year and makes it much easier for both new and existing restaurants to obtain liquor permits without the traditional Conditional Use Permit process, is actually bifurcated into two separate tracks.  One path is for most normally-operating restaurants, and one is for restaurants determined to be in “alcohol sensitive use” areas.  The latter track was created by the city council to address new liquor applications in areas in which there are already a number of active liquor permits, to help prevent over-concentration in those locations.  Restaurants determined to be in sensitive use areas when applying for permits under the new RBP will be subject to more qualifications and operating conditions than those in other areas, and they will also receive a one-year “provisional” approval rather than being granted a permanent permit when they first apply.

At last night’s meeting, Usher suggested that the GWNC request that City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell ask the City Council to declare Larchmont Blvd. a “sensitive use” area, based on its close proximity to residential neighborhoods to the east, west, and south, so that all new liquor permits received through the RBP would be provisional and subject to further review a year later.

Because this request was not specifically scheduled for a full discussion and vote at this month’s meeting, however, committee chair Brian Curran suggested that it be agendized for a future meeting, when more community members and local business owners could be invited to chime in on the idea.


6101-6117 W. Melrose Ave. & 713-735 N. Seward St.



This project was presented to and discussed a couple of times by the Land Use Committee in 2021, but while committee comments about the project were largely favorable during those discussions, there were also some concerns about the project’s effects on the adjacent neighborhood.  Committee members asked that the developers seek further feedback and input from the neighbors and the associations that represent them, and then return to the GWNC for further discussion and a formal recommendation on the project.

According to representatives of the Hancock Park Neighborhood Association at last night’s meeting, however, while the developers did make a presentation to that group last September, they did not return for further discussions of some specific issues after that, as they had promised, and further attempts to reach the developers have gone unanswered.  The matter is now scheduled for a city hearing on March 30, so the Land Use Committee voted last night, by a margin of 8-1, to recommend that the GWNC board oppose the application due to the lack of further community engagement from the developers.


500-506 N. Larchmont Blvd.



Although this item was also not formally agendized for action at last night’s meeting, committee member Karen Gilman reported that there will be an appeal hearing for this 5-story, 21-unit apartment project, officially approved under the City’s Transit Oriented Communities guidelines last September, on Thursday, March 24, in a meeting beginning at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom.  (Neighbor Steven Voce has appealed the city’s approval of the project, saying it should not be exempt from CEQA guidelines, as the city had previously determined, and that it should not be eligible, based on TOC guidelines, for increased height and reduced setbacks and open space, as the city previously granted.)  The city has recommended that the appeal be denied.  Gilman said a representative from the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association is planning to speak at the hearing.


The next meeting of the GWNC’s Land Use Committee will be held on Tuesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m.  The next meeting of the GWNC Board will be held on Wednesday, April 13, also at 6:30 p.m., via Zoom.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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