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Community Council: Enough Booze In Westwood Without Target

The Westwood Community Council opposes the sale of alcohol at the Target store planned for Westwood Village.

At its monthly meeting Tuesday night, the Westwood Community Council supported alcohol sales at a new restaurant in Westwood Village but not at the incoming Target store.

The first request came from for support from the council for their permit request for on-site beer and wine sales. The request also included an incidental permit would allow the restaurant to sell wine and/or beer to be consumed elsewhere along with any take-out orders.

Council Chair Steve Sann said the council had already sent a letter of support for the restaurant's permit when it submitted it to the city of Los Angeles in June. The option for the incidental accessory option was discovered only recently.

"I think this is open to a lot of abuse," said Laura Lake about the option.

Shannon Montora, a former employee at Napa Valley Grille, said that restaurant had the option on its license and that it wasn't abused, presumably because of the higher prices on wine purchased at restaurants.

"I personally see it as a nice touch," she said.

David Hekmat, who owns , said that he was unaware of the option and was concerned that the council would have to support it for all eateries in Westwood if it supported 800 Degrees Pizza's request.

"My license does not allow it," he said about the incidental accessory option. "If you give it to them [800 Degrees], then you have to give it to the others."

Sann explained that because the council had already sent a letter of support earlier in the process, it could, as a body, agree to "table the discussion indefinitely," meaning that they would take no action, which the council voted to do.

The second request for an alcohol permit came from the which is applying for a permit to sell the full range of beer, wine and distilled spirits.

"We certainly have enough alcohol in Westwood," noted Gail Freedman during the discussion, a sentiment that was echoed repeatedly.

Both Wolfgang Veith and John Heidt, vice chair of the council noted that the company has already signed the lease for the space and that the ability to sell alcoholic beverages was not a condition for the store to open.

"We know the lease is signed, so they're coming," Heidt said.

Tony Ranger, however, expressed concern that by not supporting the permit, Target officials will complain about the difficulty of doing business in Westwood.

"We wanted Target to talk to their peers," Ranger said.

Sann, prior to the vote, pointed out that there was a strong precedent to deny similar stores such permits. He said allowing alcohol sales at Target would be in violation of Westwood Specific Plan codes limiting the number of similar businesses in the immediate area, including the Ralph's and the Trader Joe's close by. Sann also noted that the .

The council voted to go on record with a letter as not supporting the permit.

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