TIMELINE OF EVENTS: LARCHMONT BUNGALOW’S VIOLATIONS OF THE LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODE
Bungalow is cleared under the special “Q” zoning conditions of Larchmont Village. They are cleared because their permit application is for that of a retail/takeout establishment, not a sit-down restaurant.
An affidavit is signed by a Larchmont Bungalow representative stating that the establishment would operate as a take-out and not have seating for dine-in. Technically called a “covenant,” the legal affidavit is an instrument used by the Department of Building and Safety to guarantee compliance. Bungalow is allowed to have only seven (7) parking spaces as long as it provides no seating for dining and operates only as a takeout place. This is because a sit-down restaurant with Bungalow’s gross floor area would require twenty-five (25) parking spaces.
Larchmont Bungalow opens with only a takeout/retail license but operates as a sit-down restaurant. The Department of Building and Safety revokes the certificate of occupancy because of the violation.
An appeal by Larchmont Bungalow is denied, thereby upholding the validity of the signed affidavit. The establishment’s permit and occupancy certificate that are required for businesses to operate are revoked.
Larchmont Bungalow starts a Living Social deal involving dine-in only coupons for bargain hunters. They have since negotiated to honor more than 8,000 coupons, all with the stipulation that they can only be used for dining in.
Assistant City Attorney Tina Hess files criminal charges against Larchmont Bungalow. The three counts are failing to comply with a city agency; providing false information; and continuing to operate without a certificate of occupancy.
The criminal arraignment is again continued, to September 8th.
Source for timeline: LarchmontLA
Ever since the Bungalow group entered the village and started “investments” in the community, the congestion has become severe. If there was ever a case in which the city’s laws have to be followed in order to preserve the character of an area, it would be this case. There’s a reason laws are put into place.
An investor cannot arbitrarily decide to build establishments that don’t provide parking spaces required under rules and calculations that are applied consistently citywide.
Government has a legislated procedure for handling the circumstances under which particular businesses are allowed to operate. The Department of Building and Safety did its parking analysis for this property and structure; it required a covenant, as it has in many other instances. Every food establishment in the mid-Wilshire area, even the small family restaurants, painstakingly fulfill whatever is required of them under the law.
It is NOT FAIR that an entity be exempted from the law just because they have the money to hire lawyers to question what was a matter-of-course decision by an administrative agency — more so because operating as a sit-down restaurant as Bungalow has been doing without permit since 2009 is NOT LEGAL; it’s an affront to the law and to those who follow the law.