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Main Street Santa Monica Could See Tighter Restrictions on New Bars


By Jason Islas
Staff Writer

September 17, 2012 - - Santa Monica's Main Street is thriving, but for some, this epicenter of the seaside town's nightlife has become a nuisance and has got City staff concerned over potential lawsuits.

According to City staff, some residents living near the bar-and-restaurant-lined thoroughfare have complained about throngs of noisy bar patrons as they leave area hotspots, such as Finn McCool, O’Briens, Barcopa, Main on Main, Areal and The Victorian/Basement, around closing time.

“It is important to note that the noise emanating from Main Street remains an annoyance to several nearby residents and a motel,” staff wrote, referring to the Seaside Motel on Main near Ocean Park Boulevard.

“In such cases, a private nuisance claim brought by the affected individuals may be possible,” staff warned.

With that in mind, the City may be looking into tightening its ordinances around Main Street.

“Staff is actively reviewing changes to the zoning code which would change the definition of new restaurants and place further limitations on alcohol service restaurants,” staff wrote.

One place in particular has been singled out for complaint: the Victorian, which added a basement bar in 2010.

Located at Main Street and Ocean Park, the old house-turned-restaurant has attracted the ire of some of its neighbors.

“Complainants have suggested that The Victorian/Basement is operating outside of the use approved in its lease and under the Zoning Ordinance,” staff wrote.

However, staff did not agree.

“As of now, enforcement staff has consistently found The Victorian to be in compliance with all applicable local laws, including local zoning laws,” staff wrote.

Although staff is looking into tighter restrictions on future bars and restaurants, any changes “would generally only be applicable to new restaurant establishments, not existing non-conforming uses such as The Victorian,” according to staff.

In general, the City has attempted to address some of the problems residents of the area have seen on Main Street.

“Since January 2012, Police and City staff participated in four community meetings with residents, and five business meetings with Main Street bar and restaurant managers,” staff wrote.

As a result of those meetings, more police officers were assigned to Main Street, especially during the height of the area's nightlife. Traffic Management created more taxi zones to cut back on congestion.

In November, the City Council voted to ban food trucks on Main Street between 1 and 3 a.m. during weekends in an effort to keep noisy bar patrons from loitering on the streets.
Frank Gruber for Santa Monica City Council
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Re-elect Robert Kronovet for Rent Control Board

Pico Business Improvement District

7th Annual Pico Festival
Sunday, October 28th


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