Wehoville, an online news site covering West Hollywood, reported this week that the West Hollywood Public Safety Commission narrowly passed a motion to ask the West Hollywood City Council to oppose a California Senate bill that would allow WeHo and five other cities, including Los Angeles to extend alcohol sales and serving hours to 4 a.m.
According to Wehoville,
The bill was introduced in January by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). If passed and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it would allow West Hollywood, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Long Beach to extend alcohol serving hours from the current 2 a.m. limit to 4 a.m. All six of those cities have endorsed the extension. The West Hollywood City Council endorsed an earlier and unsuccessful version of Wiener’s bill in April 2017 in a four to one vote, with Councilmember Lauren Meister voting against it.
Public Safety Commissioner Robert Oliver introduced the motion last night asking the City Council to take a stand against Wiener’s bill.
Oliver disputed the argument that extended hours only will affect the six cities named in Wiener’s bill, each of which will individually decide whether or not to implement the extended hours. He noted that many of those at WeHo’s bars and clubs live elsewhere, and there is a risk of them driving long distances while inebriated.
the Los Angeles City Council has not yet addressed the bill…but Council Member David Ryu’s spokesman, Estevan Montemayor told the Buzz, “Council Member Ryu has some concerns with the legislation but he has not taken a position at this time.”
The California Restaurant Association, California Travel Association and the California Hotel & Lodging Association have supported the alcohol serving hours extension, according to Wehoville, which also reported that West Hollywood is the city with the most restaurant/bar liquor licenses per capita in all of Los Angeles County. Based on the number of restaurant/bar liquor licenses in 2015, WeHo by the Numbers reports that West Hollywood also ranks No. 1 in all of California in licenses per square mile, with 116. An organization called the Safe WeHo Leadership Council has been formed to develop ways to reduce alcohol-related problems in West Hollywood.
Senator Weiner is also the author of the controversial bill, SB 827, which would override most local zoning laws throughout the state, and allow construction of buildings up to 85 feet tall (8-10 stories) on most residential lots within half a mile of major bus and rail transit lines, which would include most of urban Los Angeles (though this could change some under amendments introduced this week). Last month, the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-0 to formally oppose the legislation.