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

City Council Votes to Include All of CD 13 (Including Larchmont Blvd.) in Restaurant Beverage Program


Just two days ago, the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee voted to support a motion made in March by City Council Member Mitch O’Farrell to include all of his Council District 13 in the city’s new Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP).  The program allows restaurants that meet certain very specific criteria to apply for expedited permits to sell alcoholic beverages, with much less community review than the traditional Conditional Use Permit process.  And this morning, the full city council also voted unanimously to pass O’Farrell’s motion, finalizing the addition of CD 13 to a growing list of Council districts where restaurants will now be allowed to participate in the RBP.

As created by the city earlier this year, the RBP is an opt-in program for which each city council member can request that any or all of their district’s territory be included.  They can also choose not to participate…or to have parts of their districts declared “sensitive use” areas under the RBP, which would subject restaurants to even more restrictions than those participating in the general version of the program.  So far, only one Councilmember, CD 15’s Joe Buscaino, has requested that part of their district be designated a sensitive use area, based on negative effects from current proliferation of liquor licenses in that part of the district, while all other Councilmembers who have requested that their districts be included in the RBP have asked that their entire districts participate.

But while O’Farrell’s motion to include all of CD 13 was entered around the same time that similar motions were made for several other Council Districts, and the other Districts’ inclusions were passed fairly quickly, O’Farrell held his motion back from a PLUM Committee vote for a couple of months when some members of the Windsor Square Association proposed that Larchmont Blvd., south of Beverly, be declared a sensitive use area under the RBP.  The proposal was based on Larchmont’s close proximity to residential streets to the east and west, and its long history of supporting only beer and wine permits for Larchmont restaurants (the RPB could more easily open the door to full liquor permits).

During the months of April and May, the matter was discussed locally by many different groups and stakeholders, including the Windsor Square Association, the Larchmont Business Improvement District, and local restaurants and neighbors.  On May 12, the sensitive use question was brought, finally, to the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council…where, after a vigorous discussion, a motion to request a sensitive use designation for Larchmont did not find enough support to pass.

At that point, as O’Farrell spokesperson Dan Halden told the Buzz earlier this week,  “considering the restrictive conditions of the Restaurant Beverage Program Ordinance, we felt that more than sufficient controls were in place” for Larchmont, and a sensitive use carve-out was not necessary.  So O’Farrell’s original motion – to include all of CD 13 in the RBP – was scheduled for a vote at the PLUM Committee earlier this week.  That Committee vote was unanimous and without discussion, and the matter moved very quickly to the full City Council…where today’s vote was also unanimous and without discussion by either Council Members or stakeholders. So the door is now open for restaurants on Larchmont and elsewhere in CD 13 to begin submitting applications, if they choose to do so, under the RBP.


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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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