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Council Votes Down Support of Waffle Chix Alcohol Permit

Fairburn Elementary School district plans and local event funding also on agenda

The Westwood Neighborhood Council met Wednesday evening to discuss a broad range of issues affecting the Westside community, including a conditional use permit request from Waffle Chix restaurant in Westwood Village, the possible redistricting of Fairburn Elementary School, as well as monetary support for local events.

Waffle Chix Conditional Use Permit Request

Dominating the meeting in terms of time was the request by Waffle Chix restaurant representative Steve Wesson of ENT Partners, for a conditional use permit to allow the sale of beer and wine for on-site consumption until midnight, as well as to allow for live entertainment, such as a jazz quartet.

“We voted against recommending support of this application for a number of reasons,” said Constance Boukidis, chair of the land use and planning committee, referring to a March 28 land-use meeting. “There was at that time confusion about whether the property was subleased or wasn’t subleased.”

She also added, “Right now there’s a dispute, from what I understand from the city attorney’s office, as to whether (alcohol licenses) are reversible or not.” For example, if the business were sublet or sold to a new business owner, would the city be able to enforce all of the conditions from the original permit?

“What really is at issue here is whether the restaurant is going to be a success or not,” said Westwood resident Wolfgang Veith, who echoed multiple concerns about the allegedly struggling restaurant. “If they’re really serious about it, they should first be a restaurant success and then apply for the alcohol because then we’ll also know that they’re going to stay and not just give the license to somebody else.”

Westwood Community Council Chair Steve Sann also raised the issue that the restaurant’s building design has not been compliant with city codes.

While council member Brent Gaisford negated concerns about an overconcentration of alcohol providers in Westwood Village by arguing that “students wouldn’t get trashed at a beer and wine establishment,” the council narrowly voted against recommending the permit request, with six abstentions.

Fairburn Elementary Students to be Redirected to Nora Sterry?

Westwood resident and parent Cara Horowitz spoke during public comment about a possible LAUSD proposal to change the boundaries of Fairburn Elementary School and redistrict a certain segment of Fairburn’s district in Westwood to West L.A.’s Nora Sterry Elementary School.

According to Horowitz, this will not take place for the 2012-13 school year, but LAUSD will revisit the issue in the next few months.

A LAUSD spokesperson was not at the meeting to comment.

Funds for the Community

The board also passed two motions to provide $3,000 for an earthquake simulator at an upcoming Disaster Fair, which board member Michael Stajura is planning to hold on either Oct. 13 or Oct. 20, and $7,500 to support the Westwood Organized Mega Project, a neighborhood beautification mission.

Finally, Laura Winikow was unanimously elected as board treasurer, who will replace the outgoing Gaisford.

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