Larchmont Bungalow Appeal Denied

Bungalow

Tuesday, a City Council committee recommended that the Council join other agencies of the City in denying the Larchmont Bungalow’s latest attempt at delaying enforcement of the Larchmont zoning law. The recommendation is to deny the Bungalow’s November appeal of the Area Planning Commission’s unanimous October denial of the Bungalow’s request for special treatment to be allowed to operate as a restaurant.

The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee of the City Council previously had listened to testimony on January 13, 2015, but Committee chair Jose Huizar continued the matter at that time to seek clarification from Planning Department staff of questions raised during that hearing.

Councilman Tom LaBonge spoke at Tuesday's hearing.
Councilman Tom LaBonge spoke at Tuesday’s hearing.

Those questions were answered today by Debbie Lawrence from the Planning Department and Chief Inspector Todd Borzi from the Department of Building and Safety. Committee Chair Huizar then allowed those in attendance to speak. About a dozen people (including Councilman Tom LaBonge) spoke in opposition to the appeal, and another six people — Larchmont BID head Tom Kneafsey, four Bungalow employees, and one customer — joined the applicant, his wife and two lawyers in asking the Committee to grant the appeal. Among those joining Councilman LaBonge in opposition were the President and several officers of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and members of the GWNC Land Use Committee, the President of the Hancock Park Home Owners Association, and the Vice President of the Windsor Square Association. 

Councilman LaBonge asked the Committee to consider the sentiment of the neighborhood and the recommendation of the Planning Department. He expressed frustration that he had personally met in 2009 with Albert Mizrahi, owner of the Bungalow, and urged him to follow the “Q” conditions before opening his business. Citing a program of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman LaBonge called Larchmont a Los Angeles “Great Street” that had been created to serve the local neighborhoods, and he urged the Committee to support the city planning process that will insure that Larchmont continues to be a great street. 

Renée Weitzer, Land Use and Planning Deputy for Councilman LaBonge, also urged the PLUM Committee to deny the appeal. Then, upon a motion from Chairman Huizar, seconded by Councilman Englander, the Committee voted to forward the matter to the full City Council with the recommendation that the appeal be denied. The matter should be on the Council agenda by next week.

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

7 thoughts on “Larchmont Bungalow Appeal Denied

  1. It should, but somehow doesn’t, amaze me that this issue has dragged on six years, the economic prowess of the owner being the engine for its steady opposition.
    The request for reduced parking spaces PLUS a full liquor license? Are
    you kidding me? If that were to be allowed, next would be valet (neighborhood) parking, then extended hours and BOOM, another Third Street Promenade night club right here on Larchmont, the second in the chain from the owner.
    Of course another rather legal option is to option the lease on the new living/dining/club complex under construction at the north end of
    Larchmont on Melrose. It’s a bit messier from a business perspective, though, and involves having to deal with those pesky regs about permits and rules, unlike a Wild West cowboy approach.

  2. I’ve never understood the (real) reasons behind this long and tedious case. This space is WAY TO BIG to be a carryout only space and I don’t understand why it was ever presented that way. Meanwhile, it makes a lovely restaurant that employees a lot of local people. I enjoy many of the restaurants along Larchmont, but they’re already packed and hard to get into without a reservation during peak hours. We need more quality restaurants like Larchmont Bungalow, not less! I don’t know how much it has cost to pursue this case, but I hope it just goes away!

  3. That Tom Kneafsey spoke in support of Mizrahi is particularly galling, since we have to thank Mizrahi not only for the ongoing Larchmont Bungalow debacle, BUT ALSO the eviction of Larchmont Hardware (only to be replaced by bogus clothing and cheap renovation called, charmingly, “Hardware”): and the crappy Library store, all this junk taking the place of longtime businesses that the neighborhood actually used. So, great, Larchmont BID!

    1. My understanding is that the Library clothing store is owned or managed by a son, the Hardware store by a family member, the yogurt/juice by family also. Seems a family wanting to own it’s own village.

      @M A Miller “…This space is WAY TO BIG to be a carryout only space and I don’t understand why it was ever presented that way.”
      You may not have lived in the area for long, but that was two spaces, bought and the new owner consolidated into one.

      “…I don’t know how much it has cost to pursue this case, but I hope it just goes away…”
      And that is exactly what the firm wants to do. Keep throwing money at it until the community finally says..enough..,ok.you win. My tax money is paying for the recklessness of an entrepreneur.

  4. It’s astonishing to me that The Bungalow has been allowed to remain open after the owner has clearly broken the contract agreement. No matter how many postponements, the doors should have been closed long ago to await the court’s decision. Any other business on Larchmont that clearly violated it’s contract, would have had to close it’s doors. My family has lived in the neighborhood for years, and seeing a business that flaunts and ignores a contract agreement, makes me cross the street whenever I have to pass by this restaurant. There are far better places to dine on Larchmont where the food is superior, but better still, the owners are honest.

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