A Central Planning Commission hearing on the Larchmont Bungalow is set for 10 am Monday, September 22nd at City Hall in Room 1020 and is open to the public. The hearing will address the latest requests by the Bungalow, at 107 N. Larchmont, for a zone change and parking variance to legalize its current illegal use as a sit-down restaurant, and a new permit to allow the sales of beer and wine.
Last month the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) voted to oppose an earlier application filed by the Bungalow that was later withdrawn and revised. In the most recent version, the Bungalow dropped their request for a license to sell a full line of alcohol. opting to request a beer and wine license instead.
Its parking variance request is now for 18 spaces within 450 feet of the business, in lieu of the required 25 on-site spaces (the earlier application was for 7 on-site spaces in lieu of 25). The requested zone change to remove the existing “Q” condition from the parcel (which would then allow a restaurant at the location) is unchanged the new application. The GWNC reviewed the revised application at its September 10 meeting, and voted once again to oppose all three requests, based on the business’s current illegal operations without required permits, its history of fighting the city’s enforcement efforts, and the two lawsuits still pending with the city. (In one, the city is suing owner Albert Mizrahi in criminal court for zoning and permit violations; the other is a civil suit brought by Mizrahi against the city claiming its enforcement efforts are unfair).
Many members of the community are committed to keeping the “Q” conditions which limit the number of restaurants allowed on Larchmont Boulevard so that the street does not solely become a ‘food court’ without a variety of services. Community activists are concerned that although Bungalow owner Albert Mizrahi has so far gained no ground in five years of civil and criminal court cases against him, he perseveres and has now hired lobbyists and lawyers Jerry Neumann, former City Attorney Rocky Delgadilo, and Delgadilo’s former Chief of Staff Ann D’Amato to build his case before Planning.
Residents in the area have also been approached by people canvassing the streets around Larchmont gathering signatures in support of the Bungalow, though the Buzz could not confirm if they were hired by Mizrahi.
Others, like local lawyer John Welborne and the Windsor Square Association, are urging residents to show up en masse to the Monday 10 am hearing at City Hall and make their opinions heard.
The Buzz would like to hear your opinions as well – if you feel strongly about this issue, which is sure to generate plenty of fireworks on Monday, please leave us a note in the comments.Larchmont Bungalow Hearing Central Area Planning Commission City Hall, 10th floor, Room 1020 Monday, September 22, 2014 – 10 am