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GWNC Hears Concerns about La Brea’s All-Season Brewing Company

Nearby residents brought complaints about operations at All Season Brewing Company to the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council this month.

Nearby neighbor complaints about operations at All Season Brewing Company, located in the old Firestone building at 800 S. La Brea Ave., took center stage at this month’s meeting of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.

The issues were first disucssed at the April meeting of the GWNC’s Land Use Committee, where two neighbors said the business appears to be in violation of several conditions of its Conditional Use Permit. The conditions were negotiated with the Sycamore Square Neighborhood Association, supported by the GWNC, approved by the City, and included in the business’ Conditional Use Permit in 2017. They include no noise audible beyond the business’ property line, no exterior signs promoting or indicating the availability of alchoholic beverages, no private parties, and no extension of serving areas into the public rights of way.

According to Dr. Ash Khodabakhsh, who owns the home directly behind the business, noise, trash, and other issues (including public urination and vomiting) have been so bad for so long, his family was forced to move and put their house up for sale.  Two other neighbors* said they’ve also heard noise complaints from residents of the Wilshire/La Brea building to the north across 8th Street, and from neighbors a block to the west on Detroit St.

Dr. Khodabakhsh said he has brought his concerns to the managers and owners of the business, but “it’s been a fight” to get any responses other than “it’s a bar.”

Brian Lenzo, Director Of Operations, SoCal Breweries and Neighborhood Bars at Pouring with Heart, which owns All Seasons Brewing and 16 other bars in Los Angeles and San Diego, was also present at the full GWNC board meeting on Wednesday, May 8. But he told board members that there have been several recent changes at the venue that may help address the concerns. For example, he said, the business has now removed music speakers from the patio areas. And the extension of outdoor seating areas onto the sidewalk, which was allowed during the COVID emergency, will be removed soon when those temporary permissions expire in June.

Also, Lenzo said the business recently got rid of its valet parking service, hired a new manager of operations, and will be happy to mitigate other issues “the best we can.” And finally, Lenzo said this is the first time he’s heard that anyone other than Dr. Khodabakhsh has complained, and he invited others who may be concerned about the site to contact him at [email protected]

After the discussion, however, the GWNC board voted unanimously (with the exception of president Conrad Starr, who represents the Sycamore Square neighborhood and recused himself) to support a motion recommended by the Land Use Committee last month, asking All-Season Brewing Company to come into compliance with its CUB, agreeing that letters about the neighbors’ complaints be sent to CD 5 and the business owners, and recommending that the owners visit an upcoming Land Use meeting to furtherdiscuss possible solutions to the problems.

[*Full disclosure: the author of this story owns a home in the Sycamore Square neighborhood and also spoke up at the meeting to corroborate the other neighbors’ complaints about noise at the location.]

Gas Leaf Blowers

The only other vote on civic issues at the May 8 meeting came at the request of the GWNC’s Environment & Sustainability Committee, which requested the board’s support for a city council motion (Council File 24-0055) urging better enforcement of, citations for violations of, and education about city rules forbidding the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Committee chair Polly Estabrook pointed out that electric leaf blower techology has come a long way since this issue was first raised several years ago, and the health risks of gas leaf blowers are also better documented, but the following discussion raised questions bout who would be responsible for providing new electric leaf blowers to yard crews, and how the rules would be enforced. In the end, the vote was 8 votes in favor of submitting a Community Impact Statement in favor of the City Council motion, five votes opposed, and two abstensions…so the measure carried.

Other Updates

As usual, representatives of several city offices and agencies provided brief updates on a variety of topics at this month’s meeting. Attendees learned that:

  • City Council District 13 has identified funding for streetlight repairs in the district. If you know of a light that needs repair, please report it to 311.
  • CD 13 has also identified six schools in the district that qualify for speed hump installation, including Van Ness Elementary in the GWNC area (the other five schools are in East Hollywood and Koreatown).
  • A big drawback to clearing more GWNC-area homeless encampments through the Mayor’s Inside Safe program is the lack of transitional housing in this part of the city. More hotels, motels, and service providers that might have rooms available need to be identified.
  • People are still parking illegally in the center lane of Larchmont Blvd., along the main part of the Larchmont Blvd. shopping district. According to CD 13 field deputy Karla Martinez, although the Department of Transportation recently painted turn arrows in the lane, to discourage people from parking there, the department is still reluctant to install “no parking” signs. And finally, although Parking Enforcement has visited the area and issued tickets (parking in the lane is now considered a moving violation), they don’t have enough staff to be there consistently.
  • Martinez will talk to the district’s homeless team about the encampment on St. Andrews near Elmwood, where nearby residents report a lot of drug activity.  Martinez said that while most encampments do have drug activity, the people who live there are mostly buyers, not sellers. Also, LAPD Olympic Division Senior Lead Officer Harry Cho noted that the division has only four narcotics officers at the moment, so they’re very short-handed.
  • The mayor has been visiting all the LAPD divisions, asking for input on a new police chief, which has been much appreciated by our local police officers.  
  • Compared to this time of year last year, crime stats in LAPD’s Wilshire Division are pretty good:  robberies are down 5% and burglaries are down 28%. At the same time, though, thefts from vehicles are up 6% (people are still leaving things like cell phones and laptop computers visible in their parked cars), and aggravated assaults are up 100%.  According to Senior Lead Officer Hebel Rodriguez, the assaults are mostly transient-on-transient attacks, however, with some domestic violence cases, and a few other “individual altercations” like road rage incidents.  Overall, Rodriguez said violent crimes are up 44% and thefts are up 22.7%.
  • In Olympic Division, there’s also been a problem with thefts of delivery vehicles when their drivers leave them running while bringing delivery items to residents’ doors.
  • Danny Chavez will soon be the new Senior Lead Officer for Olympic Division in the GWNC area, taking over for Joe Pelayo, who’s retiring.  (No date for the switch has been set yet.) Chavez is currently the SLO for the Western Heights/Harvard Heights/West Adams Heights areas near Washington Blvd. and Western Ave.
  • New subway station canopies are being installed for the Purple (D) Line Subway Extension at La Brea and Fairfax. Construction sound walls in those areas are also being removed…and new concrete bus lanes are being installed along Wilshire Blvd. at Fairfax Ave. (resulting in some temporary lane closures on Wilshire). Metro representative Ned Racine said construction crews are also looking forward to soon turning on the permanent electrical power at the Fairfax station and getting rid of noisy generators there.

New Board Member & Alternates

Left to right: Anne Rudnick (Fremont Place), Bob Reeves (Ridgewood-Wilton/St. Andrews Square), and Dan Sterling (Sycamore Square) were sworn in this month as new members/alternate members of the GWNC.

Finally, the GWNC board this month appointed and swore in one new board member and two new board alternates. They are:

Anne Rudnick – Director – Area 4, Fremont Place
Robert (Bob) Reeves – Alternate – Area 10, Ridgewood-Wilton/St. Andrews Square
Dan Sterling – Alternate – Area 11, Sycamore Square

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the GWNC will be held on Wednesday, June 12, at 6:30 pm 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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