Well, here we are once again, getting ready to head into another adventure in bureaucracy with the City of Los Angeles.
First of all, I just want to say thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of us in the last 18 months since we’ve opened. And to everyone who has been inquiring about this new trip back to City Hall next week, in hopes to support us once again. You all are the reason we have hope that LA might some day be considered a great city for Craft Beer.
Now I suppose I should just jump right into the details…Here’s what’s going on:
Over a year ago, when we were first granted our Conditional Use Permit (to serve beer to the public for on-site and off-site consumption), a land-owner in the neighborhood appealed the decision, and protested our land-use request. Because of this appeal, we had to go through another public hearing to determine if the protester’s concerns were valid enough to overturn the decision and deny our Conditional Use Permit. The results of that public hearing were in our favor, and the protester’s appeal was denied. We were granted our Conditional Use Permit, but we were given an additional operating condition: After one year of operation, we would be required to come back in front of the Zoning Administrator for a “Plan Approval” to determine if we have been complying with our operating conditions, and if our land-use privileges should be revoked.
Now, the worst-case outcome from the Pubic Hearing next week is obvious, which would mean that we could no longer serve beers in our tasting-room, and potentially not even be able to continue our brewing operations at this location. That is definitely a worst-case situation, but probably unlikely since we have been strictly complying with our operating conditions, and have done everything we can to improve the quality of the neighborhood since we’ve been opened. The best-case outcome means that we can keep operating for another 4-years under our current conditions (actually 3.5 years since the City took so long to process this file), at which point we will have to start the whole process over again, and re-apply for a brand new Conditional Use Permit (since our CUP was given a 5-year grant after being appealed by the aforementioned land-owner).
It is indeed very frustrating to find ourselves in the bureaucratic perpetual-motion machine of the City of LA, but in the long-run it may be just part of the price we have to pay to finally be considered a great city for Craft Beer. Dare to dream….
If you are reading this post, chances are you want to know how you can help, so here’s a few suggestions:
1) If you can come to the hearing to show your support, that would be great! The hearing is open to the public, so you’ll be welcome to say a few words if you choose. If not, no worries, we’d just love to see your faces and feel the moral support.
2) If you can’t come to the hearing, you can write a letter of support, call the Zoning Administration office and tell them your opinion, or post the notice for our hearing (or a link to this blog post) on your Twitter, Facebook, or Blogs and spread the word!
Public Hearing:When: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011, 2:00pm Where: Los Angeles City Hall 200 North Spring Street, Room 1050 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Case Number: ZA-2008-3392-CUB-PA1 For Letters of Support or Phone Calls: Office of Zoning Administration 200 North Spring Street, Room 763 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Zoning Admin. Office Phone: (213) 978-1318 Please reference the case number ZA-2008-3392-CUB-PA1 in any of your correspondences with the Zoning Admin offices. Thank you all so much for your continued support!!!