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Delay on Decision for The Parlor Requested  

By Jonathan Friedman
Lookout Staff

The City Council is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday night on changing the hours and reducing the number of seats among other changes for The Parlor, a popular restaurant/ sports bar on Wilshire Boulevard off 15th Street that many neighbors call a nuisance.

The building owner’s attorney says a decision should not be made at the hearing because only five council members are expected to be in attendance.

Attorney Chris Harding wrote in a letter on Friday to council members that it would be “fundamentally unfair and constitute a denial of due process to take final action” on Tuesday. Harding wrote that his client has no problem with the hearing taking place, but that a final decision should be made at a meeting at which at least six council members are in attendance.

Last month, Harding sent a letter to the city manager and Mayor Pro Tem Pam O’Connor requesting the hearing be delayed at least 90 days for various reasons, including that he wanted a community meeting to take place during a “cooling off” period. His request was denied.

In his Friday letter, he again wrote that a community meeting should take place prior to a hearing.

“It is quite apparent that The Parlor has become a high-profile, ‘hot-button’ matter that has attracted a great deal of community attention -- including many supporters as well as some neighbors who are concerned with its operations,” Harding wrote.


He continued, “For most high-profile matters, the City's formal hearing process is preceded by a community process designed to facilitate dialogue and problem-solving. Often such a community process is more productive than a contested administrative hearing process. Unfortunately, no such community process occurred here.”

Harding further wrote several pages of reasons why he disagreed with some City staff recommendations for The Parlor, calling them “unduly burdensome.”

These recommendations include changing the closing time to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, reducing capacity by 90 seats and increasing security. The recommendations are based on a Planning Commission decision from last fall. John Makhani, who owns the building, appealed that decision.

A City Council hearing on The Parlor was supposed to take place in December. An overflow crowd attended the session. But the item was continued at the request of attorney Stephen Jamieson, who was representing Makhani at the time.

Although that hearing was delayed, several speakers were able to talk to the council under public comment. One neighbor said “it has been Hell” since The Parlor opened in 2007. People complained of public urination and excessive noise. Others defended the establishment and said the complaints were exaggerated.


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