Zoning Administrator Albert Landini granted Wolfgang Puck a variance on June 29, 2007 to serve a full line of alcoholic beverages at catered special events at the Griffith Observatory. His decision was actually made a few days prior to the Parks Commissioners approval of RAP guidelines. Thus those guidelines were not considered at all, nor was the overwhelming public opposition. LFIA received a copy of his decision by mail on July 3.
The entire 50 page document is not available electronically. You can call the Office of Zoning Administration at 213 978 1318 to request a copy be mailed to you free of charge. In the meantime, here is a summary of the Zoning Administrator’s findings:
1. There shall be no more than 36 catered events a year at the Observatory serving alcohol, of which 6 may go as late as 1 a.m., the remaining 30 to end no later than 11 p.m. All events may start as early as 11 a.m.
2. No limit on the nature of the event except it must be approved by the Department of Recreation and Parks (without specifying which employee). Example given are: “Observatory-sponsored events and events sponsored by City agencies and departments, nonprofit group events, charity events, corporate meetings and events, political fund raisers and private groups.”
3. Events may be held in any part of the Observatory, including the grounds, roof and exhibit areas.
4. There is no limitation on interfering with public access; the only limit being no alcohol is to be served in the cafe when it is open to the public.
7. There is no limit on the maximum or minimum number of persons allowed at an event.
8. The variance expires in five years and the applicant is required to file an Approval of Plan 12 months after the effective date of the variance, which will be subject to a public hearing and may result in the revocation of the variance or a modification of its conditions
Because the Zoning Administrator ignored public input and because he failed to establish a single one of the criteria for granting a variance, LFIA filed an appeal on Thursday, July 12. This appeal is downloadable here.
Letters to the Planning Commission supporting our appeal would be greatly appreciated. Both individuals and groups may file letters of support. You must reference Case No. 2006-10405(ZV). Letters of support should be sent to:
Central Area Planning Commission
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012