The movie theater in the Caruso project just received a liquor license with no public hearing.
The L.A. Planning Department told me: “The Cineopolis is located within the Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhood Specific Plan. This plan was updated as part of a City Planning Commission case, and incorporated conditions for the regulation of alcohol beginning on page 11.
“Per the Specific Plan, one approval for on-site consumption of alcohol within a theater is permitted. Section 5 states that at the discretion of City Planning, a public hearing can be held if controversy is indicated. However, for this particular establishment no controversy came to our attention, and the Director’s Determination letter (for PA 2) was issued on January 9th.”
Actually, several letters requesting a public hearing on this specific application were, in fact, submitted to the Planning Department BEFORE the issuance of the Director’s Determination letter. This should have been qualified as “controversy.”
The letters that were submitted in early January pointed out that the theater is within 20 feet of the condos next door and within 100 feet of single-family homes across the street, which meets the criteria for an appeal with the ABC (state liquor control board).
On March 31, 2016, petitions were submitted to City Planning objecting to a liquor license at the movie theater. Even though the petitions and prior objections are in the file, there was no acknowledgement of the proximity to homes or the objections by the neighbors in the Director’s Determination letter.
At this point, the only way the public will be able to voice their opinions is to appeal the Director’s Determination letter, which then will be followed by a hearing with the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission.
I certainly think the Community Council should weigh in on this issue. It may be that the theater should get a liquor license, but our community should be involved in that decision without having to demonstrate an undefined “controversy” where there already clearly is a controversy.