Villagers from Larchmont and surrounding enclaves have rallied and picked up torches picket signs this week to protest zoning infractions made by newly opened Larchmont Bungalow, with I Love Larchmont Blvd supporting calls that the restaurant is "illegal." The new spot does not have permits to operate as a restaurant, but only as a takeout or retail space. Larchmont preservationists have been increasingly concerned over sidewalk crowding from nearby eateries, some of who might not be in step with the law, which they seem to be taking into their own hands. Before it got a bit too late, Councilman Tom LaBonge stepped in and had to regulate.
LaBonge expresses his disappointment in a letter to concerned Larchmont residents about the restaurant’s violations:
Thank you for your continued interest in the preservation of Larchmont Village. I am writing in an effort to continue keeping you up-to-date on the situation regarding 107 N. Larchmont Blvd.
You may or may not be familiar with the zoning regulations in place on Larchmont Boulevard. A new business has moved forward that is not in compliance with the Q Conditions that were adopted over 15 years ago to preserve the lively mixture of businesses that makes Larchmont a vibrant district. I have been involved in meetings with the property owner and community as recently as last week. That being said, the business opened and it appeared to many of us that it was in violation. Building inspectors went out and confirmed the violation. I am disappointed in the lack of adherence with the law.
Today, the Department of Building and Safety issued an Order to Comply that directs the property owner to removal all seating immediately (as of today) and return the business to a retail and take-away restaurant only. Once this has happened, he is required to call for inspection again. (Click on the following link to view a copy of the letter 10-29-09ViolationAddress107Larchmont Blvd.pdf.)
As you can see, the letter makes clear that if the owner fails to comply with this order within 15 days, he could be fined or even jailed.
The situation is now a legal matter and will proceed accordingly. I know that this process may seem cumbersome, but it is necessary to fully protect the rights of all citizens. Please feel free to contact me or my Chief of Staff Renee Weitzer if you have any questions or concerns (213)485-3337.
While Eater L.A. reports the restaurant was open today and handing out free goodies by the thousands (maybe to buy some backup), a couple of Ilovelarchmont commenters, some of who might or might not be connected to the restaurant in question, are duking it out internet-style.
Larchmont Compliance [I Love Larchmont Blvd]