Palisades Village Neighbors Oppose Vintage Grocer’s Expanded Hours, Say Caruso Agreement Was Not Upheld

By Sue Pascoe
Editor

Before the Palisades Village project was presented at an April 2016 City Planning Commission hearing, developer Rick Caruso signed a written agreement with neighbors who had organized under the name “Protect Our Village” (POV). 

The project faces residential homes on two sides and a condominium building on the third. Neighborhood residents feared the increased traffic, parking issues, noise and light pollution, truck unloading and garbage pickup would transform a “quiet bedroom community” into a commercial area.

In exchange for support at the hearing, members of POV extracted several promises from Caruso, including hours of operation.

A reader sent this photo on December 27, and said it was taken at 8:05 a.m. Caruso spokesperson Liz Jaeger was contacted but had not responded by presstime. The Caruso people have promised to deal with any and all dust raised by the construction. Residents that have issues with the construction can email project manager Michael Gazzano at MGazzano@CarusoAffiliated.com or call (310) 744-2301 or contact his/her Pacific Palisades Community Council representatives at pacpalicc.org.

A reader sent this photo on December 27, and said it was taken at 8:05 a.m. Caruso spokesperson Liz Jaeger was contacted but had not responded by presstime. The Caruso people have promised to deal with any and all dust raised by the construction. Residents that have issues with the construction can email project manager Michael Gazzano at MGazzano@CarusoAffiliated.com or call (310) 744-2301 or contact his/her Pacific Palisades Community Council representatives at pacpalicc.org.

Now, Vintage Grocers (Malibu Country Market, LLC), has filed with City Planning for operating hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, which violates the 2016 agreement. The store’s ownership is also seeking a license to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption.

POV filed an appeal this June, noting that the signed agreement specified hours of operation for the Caruso project. Retail tenants could operate daily between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. During the holiday season– the day after Thanksgiving until December 30–stores could remain open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Restaurant hours were specified as 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and bakery/coffee/breakfast operating hours were from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Caruso also agreed to no stand-alone bars, nor large-format restaurants. 

Vintage Grocers, which has signed to open in Palisades Village, has asked for store hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. According to an agreement signed, the store is only entitled to hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Vintage Grocers, which has signed to open in Palisades Village, has asked for store hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. According to an agreement signed, the store is only entitled to hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The document was signed by POV advisory board members Ted Weitz and Mark Grinblatt and Rick Caruso, president of Caruso Affiliated. 

When Caruso announced he had signed Vintage Grocers as a tenant in a September 21, 2016, letter to the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, he called Vintage “a specialty grocer” and an intimate, one-of-a-kind neighborhood market specifically catering to the Palisades Community.”

In the Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan, a supermarket is defined as “a retail store, which has a floor area equal to or greater than 5,000 square feet and which sells an assortment of foods, as well as items for food preparation, household cleaning and personal care.”

According to Caruso’s letter, Vintage Grocers, occupying 11,388 sq.-ft., would offer a pizza bar, a poke bar and a juice bar, which falls under the Specific Plan as a retail store.

The POV agreement also specified there could be two liquor licenses for off-site consumption: one with a market and a second with a specialty retail store. 

The agreement stated that a public hearing could be held at the discretion of the City Director of Planning, if the application was likely to be controversial.

The POV appeal argues that no public hearings were held regarding the alcohol application, and that there are already three existing stores that sell alcohol (Ralphs, Gelson’s and CVS) and an additional application pending within 1,000 feet of the proposed Vintage Grocers.

The appeal will be heard on September 6, after 4:30 p.m., at the Henry Medina West Los Angeles Parking Enforcement Facility, 11214 W. Exposition Blvd. Contact: Kenton Trinh at (213) 978-1290 or by email: Kenton.Trinh@lacity.org.

 

 

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