Residents of Hancock Park are being asked to attend a zoning department hearing tomorrow morning to seek modifications to a Condition Use Beverage Permit (CUB) application as requested for a East of June, new restaurant and bar at 6063-6065 Melrose Avenue, seeking to operate until 2:00 a.m. nightly.
Instead, the Hancock Park Homeowners Association, (HPHOA, est. 1948) would prefer the restaurant close at 11 p.m., among other thimgs, according to Susan Grossman, Vice President, HPHOA, est. 1948 and a Board Member of the Hancock Park HPOZ Board.
In a letter to Planning Department Staff Contact Lisette Covarrubias, Grossman wrote:
Our Association and residents are asking for four modifications to the proposed application:
1) Change operating hours so the restaurant closes at 11 p.m.;
2) Add language to the permit that there cannot be amplified live music and that any amplified recorded music be kept at a reasonably low decibel level;
3) That noise of any kind from the restaurant and its customers be no higher than 70 decibels as measured from across Melrose at the Hancock Park Terrace condominiums;
4) Have a plan for immediately addressing parking, traffic and noise issues that is agreed to by our Association.
There are three restaurants within two blocks of this location which have much more limited operating hours: Providence – closes at 10 p.m.; Xiomara – closes at 11 p.m. and Marino’s – closes at 11 p.m. None of these restaurants have live or recorded music on the outside of their buildings and they all manage their parking so that residential street parking is not impacted. In addition, three of the four Mozza restaurants, which are approximately five blocks from this location, and which open onto Melrose Avenue, have closing hours no later than 11 p.m. every night of the week.
“The HPHOA’48 has concerns about the impacts of late hours with a liquor license, noise and increased parking on residential streets,” wrote association president Cindy Chvatal-Keane in an e-mail to residents, asking them to write letters and attend the hearing.
The operators of proposed restaurant have several other high-profile, highly successful restaurants including Laurel Hardware and Ysabel in West Hollywood. One of the partners, Phil Howard, told the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council at its November meeting last year that his company wanted to work with the neighborhood regarding noise and parking concerns.
At that meeting, the GWNC board voted (9 in favor, 4 opposed and 1 abstention) to support the application, with the amendment that “the owners consider limiting the operational hours to midnight,” over objections from residents of Hancock Park Terrace and the South Hollywood Neighborhood Association, who were concerned about the late hours, noise and attendant parking issues.
“Our experience with Mozza has taught us that even if a restaurant has valet parking, many customers don’t use it; in addition to staff parking their cars on our streets,” wrote Grossman in a letter to resident. She told the Buzz the situation is much better now, but it’s still an issue.
“We are concerned about the noise,” said Anne Loveland, a resident of Hancock Park Terrace who is planning to attend the hearing tomorrow. But she is hopeful the operators will be open to working with the community to reduce noise by planting extra trees for example.
“We just think they need to address the noise to fit into the neighborhood,” Grossman told the Buzz. When they met with the operators, Susan Grossman told them how easily noise travels because of the typography of the neighborhood. Residents on streets east of Highland like McCadden and Las Palmas can actually hear the music from the Hollywood Bowl.
If approved, the CUB would stay with the property in perpetuity, so neighborhood leaders are concerned about any future operators should East of June vacate the space. In addition, they are concerned about the appropriateness of a business open until 2 a.m. in this unique stretch of Melrose Avenue. It is, for the most part, very residential and a precedent could be set for others to exploit.
“Restaurants are fine, but not until 2 a.m.,” said Grossman.
The hearing is tomorrow at 9 a.m. at City Hall 200 North Spring Street in Room 1070. If you cannot attend the hearing, you may contact staff member Lisette Covarrubias by phone (213) 202-5439 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.