Dozens of Santa Monica residents turned out at the Santa Monica Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday night to oppose Palihouse Santa Monica’s application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to sell alcoholic beverages to hotel patrons.
More than 40 members of the public provided comment about the permit that would have allowed the hotel to provide alcoholic beverages to hotel patrons for consumption on the premises in addition to providing hotel patrons with access through mini-bars.
Planning Commissioners voted 7-0 to deny Palihouse Santa Monica’s permit application.
At Wednesday’s meeting, UNITE HERE Local 11 questioned Palihouse’s lack of community engagement.
The Palihouse Santa Monica, formerly The Embassy Hotel and Apartments, was purchased by Avi Brosh and partner Lighthouse Investments in December 2012. Neighbors to the hotel have maintained a vocal opposition since the hotel’s renovation.
“The Planning Commission’s decision to deny the Conditional Use Permit is a win for the community,” said Melanie Luthern, organizer and research analyst for UNITE HERE Local 11.
According to its website, the Palihouse brand is “[e]stablished with the conviction that neighborhoods, unique experiences and inspiring places are integral to a life well-traveled, the Palihouse brand has been designed so savvy guests can explore the people and places they visit ‘authentically’ – with style, sophistication and individuality.”
Luthern called into question Palihouse’s decision to brand a hotel as a neighborhood experience when residents in the neighborhood claim that the hotel does not belong there.
“The people of Santa Monica expect developers to understand and respond to the community,” Luthern said. “In a politically active community like this one, failure to involve the community can create more than branding and headline risk for investors. This conditional use permit is an entitlement that would have added measurable value to the property.”
Lighthouse Investments LLC is listed on the deed of trust as the owner of the property. Lighthouse Investments is a privately held, national real estate investment and development company based in Los Angeles.