The Planning Lady

Many residents are caught off guard when they hear a developer plans to build a four-story building on their block or that beer and wine will start flowing at the former bakery down the street. In many cases, residents have an opportunity to weigh in at public hearings but often don’t have enough time to prepare or are intimidated by confusing planning and zoning terminology (what is a CUP, ENV or EAF?) and policies. To provide residents with a heads up, The Eastsider has asked Christine Peters, a.k.a. The Planning Lady, to provide Eastsiders with more timely info on planning and zoning issues.  Click here for more info on The Planning Lady.

By Christine Peters

Let’s face it. When the economy is slumping, sometimes you need a stiff drink. And to facilitate that urge, some of your favorite, existing watering holes hope to expand their licenses to include a full line of alcohol, patio seating and sometimes some live music.  Did you know that you also need a special permit (called a Conditional Use Permit or CUP) to allow dancing?  Yup. No permit, no dancing!  I learned that  years ago at the once famous “Jacks Sugar Shack” in Hollywood.  I watched a gal get hauled out by the police and get a ticket for repeatedly disobeying the NO DANCING SIGNS.  I think Jack’s moved, and finally got that permit!  Here’s a run down of some new permit applications:

What’s Brewing?


Atwater Village
5400 W. San Fernando Rd
.  A new business with no name on public record proposes the sale of beer and wine for on and off site consumption in a proposed brewery with beer tasting room and restaurant, with 80 interior seats and 72 outdoor patio seats.  A consultant working for the business declined to provide a name or provide more details about the project at this time.

Highland Park
5100 E. York Blvd.  Looks like the former Elsa’s Bakery site is now hoping to be serving beer and wine in a 1,006-square-foot restaurant.

Silver Lake
3932 W. Sunset Blvd
.   Café Stella  wants to upgrade from Beer and Wine only to full beverage license while expanding to 2,625 square-feet from the current 916 square-feet  with a total of 99 seats.  Well, sure sounds like charming Café Stella is growing but in which direction?  That’s almost three times the square footage! (Click here for a separate story on the expansion.)

2939 W. Sunset Blvd. Is it “The Thirsty Crow” or “Johnny’s Cocktail Lounge”?  Both are listed at this address. Looks like a “location scout” is necessary to figure this one out. Request is to sell a full line of alcohol with live entertainment in an existing bar with patio.

What’s on the Rise?


Echo Park
153 N. Glendale Blvd.  This is the site of Dona Vicky Market and the Pilipino Workers Center.  The proposal is to demolish  the existing structures and build a64,670 square-foot building consisting of 45 affordable housing units and 7,136 square-feet of ground-floor common area, including office, and retail space.  This project was first proposed back in 2007 before the housing and finance bubble burst.  It looks like they are back and reorganized.  Hopefully with the same revised plans they presented after many meetings with the Planning Committee of the Neighborhood Council at the time.  The proposed height and density of the project were reduced considerably to make it less domineering of the surrounding single story residences in the area.  We’ll get back to you on that!

What’s Going Down?

Glassell Park
3633 N. Roderick Rd.  Well folks, apparently Forest Lawn Glendale needs to move 61,000 cubic yards of earth! Ick.  Anyway, because it’s so much “earth” they need an environmental clearance and other exemptions .  Enough said.

Susan Borden

Silver Lake
2224 W. Electric St. Looks like someone plans to build a duplex on this hillside lot. But before they do that they need to get rid of a bunch of excavated dirt. The report does not say how much, but since these are historically narrow and winding streets, I bet people will want to know if they will be moving all that earth on trash day!

Well, that’s all that’s brewing, on the rise and goin’ down for now.  Although this list is not comprehensive, it does include all of the new entitlements filed with the City this month that we found to be of interest,  or just plain odd!

Have a lead or link to a recently filed city entitlement report or public hearing you’d like us to ‘translate” or report on? Send an email to the PlanningLady@theEastsiderLA.com. The Planning Lady is in no way a professional planner, employee of the City of Los Angeles or on the dole of any developers.  Just a crusty old gal who has gone to one too many Planning Commission meetings!

No comments

  1. I just drove down third and woods ave. In east los angeles..right next to the Gold Line..they are building Apt’s on said comer… Boy they people that leave there have it bad…now it will really be bad..good luck..

  2. Johnny’s Cocktail Lounge was the previous tenant at 2939 W. Sunset. Thirsty Crow is the current tenant.

  3. Luiza Mavropoulos

    Hi Crusty ole Lady. It’s been awhile. while I’ve never thought of you as a C.O.L
    after all your years of service to Echo Park nice to know you haven’t thrown in the towel.

  4. An 80-seat beer bar at 54000 N Fernando? With an onsite brewery? Hope it works! Boy, the ol’ neighborhood is getting fancy.

  5. The Planning Lady

    Hi Luiza,

    yes indeed after all these years “C.O.L.” is a well deserved title i guess!

    @Benjamin Cole–hoping to get more info on the proposed brew pub, but yes, things sure are changing along that stretch!

    All for now!

    The Planning lady

  6. Hey Planning Lady,

    Here is more info on the brewery….

    Atwater’s Planning Dude

  7. The Planning Lady

    Thanks Luis, aka “Planning Dude”!

    We hope that this column will help folks find out about various public notices that are often vague or go unnoticed until the public hearing has come and gone. Thanks for filling in the blanks!

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