September 29, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Planning Board Approves Alcohol Sales For Ocean Park Boulevard Restaurant:

Santa Monica�s Planning Commission voted unanimously to allow beer and wine to be served at the new Pizza Fusion restaurant even though nearby neighbors were opposed to the idea.The new 49-seat restaurant would be located at 2901 Ocean Park Boulevard which is part of a C2 (Neighborhood Commercial) zoning district. The proposed restaurant will occupy 1,937 square feet on the ground floor near the interior courtyard of a two-stor,y mixed use, 1985 building adjacent to Ocean Park Boulevard. The site includes surface parking and one level of subterranean parking. Alcohol service will only be permitted in the interior of the restaurant despite the fact that food can be ordered and taken out to an adjacent common outdoor courtyard. The approved hours of operation and alcohol service will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Other conditions pertaining to alcohol service approved by the Commission in the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Pizza Fusion include requiring the restaurant to only serve alcohol to persons who intend to order meals, having food service be available in all seating areas when alcohol service is available, and requiring that no more than 35 percent of the restaurant�s gross receipts may be from alcohol sales.Nearby neighbors who spoke believe alcohol sales at the restaurant will intensify traffic and problems in the neighborhood because it will attract more people to eat there. Dana White who lives on 29th Street stated the new restaurant will exacerbate an already �dangerous and intolerable situation� that has been created by the businesses that are already at the center where Pizza Fusion will be located. He stressed that, �29th Street is the parking lot for that center� because the on-site parking is inadequate.Former Planning Commissioner and Sunset Park resident Jennifer Polhemus told the Commission that, �all the parking for the center was being mitigated by the neighborhood� therefore she believes alcohol service at the Pizza Fusion �is an intensification of use that seems to me to be completely inappropriate.� She also believes alcohol service will only intensify the existing neighborhood parking problems and will increase boisterous behavior in the surrounding neighborhood at night.The Commission however, disagreed with the neighbors. Commission Vice-Chair Hank Koning summed up the Commission�s consensus before the vote when he stated, �I don�t think alcohol will increase the intensification of use� at this site. In his experience people usually stay longer when alcohol is served thereby causing fewer traffic and parking problems.

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