Councilmember Tom LaBonge called me at 2:55 p.m. on September 25, the day the hearing of LFIA’s appeal of the Zoning Administrator’s decision to grant Wolfgang Puck a full liquor license to serve alcoholic beverages at special catered events at the Griffith Observatory was scheduled. He advised me that R.J. Comer, the attorney for Puck was going to ask for a continuance. At the Central Area Planning Commission meeting the Zoning Administrator requested and was granted a continuance until November 13. Their Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was not appropriate, and the city attorney said they need to review different materials. The commissioners did not discuss the appropriateness of granting the continuance nor did they apologize for the inconvenience to the public. Because of the number of supporters of the appeal in attendance, each appellant was granted three minutes to speak. Doug Carstens, an attorney representing the Vermont Neighborhood Association, addressed the attempt to avoid an EIR which is required because the scheduled events have more than 200 attendees each. I pointed out the fact that there was an event the night before which is a violation while their variance is under appeal. CD 4’s Renee Weitzer requested written notification of the new hearing date although the city attorney said it was not required.
It’s going to take a lot more than 25 people to impress the commission. We need everyone who wants to keep the Griffith Observatory, a wonderful scientific and educational institution, from being turned into a private rental facility to attend the hearing. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 13, 4:30 pm, City Hall.