Planning Commission Approves Permit Enabling Market to Sell Wine and Beer
• Request for Additional Project Lighting Pulled from Agenda
BY BILL KOENEKER
Two Trancas Country Market shopping center agenda items were scheduled to be aired by the Malibu Planning Commission at its meeting Monday night, but only one of them was brought before the panel.
Erewhon Natural Food Market successfully obtained a Conditional Use Permit to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits for offsite consumption by a unanimous vote of the planning commission.
In addition, after extensive deliberation, the commissioners decided to unanimously approve a request for what is being called a beer and wine tasting area.
However, at the same time, the planning commission members were told that a request by the shopping center's contractor to add more lights than originally planned for the center parking lot and other locations was being pulled from Monday night's agenda. No explanation was given for the action.
The planning commission was originally scheduled to hear a request from project representative Scott Rozier for changes to the previously approved lighting plan at Trancas to allow the addition of 43 pole mounted lights varying in height from 12 to 20 feet that would be located throughout the parking lot and pedestrian areas, as well as other site lighting and building mounted lighting, according to a public notice issued by the city's planning department.
An amended agenda indicated the commission was going to open the public hearing take testimony, close the hearing and continue it to a later date.
However, that changed when Chair John Mazza said the matter was simply continued. Planning Director Joyce Parker Bozylinski explained that the applicant sought the continuance and told city officials there was interest in meeting with neighbors about the concerns they were expressing.
The shopping center is currently under construction, and this is the second set of changes, or amendments, to the original coastal permit that have been sought.
Commissioners were told Erewhon will be the sole occupant of the 15,580-square-foot space previously occupied by HOWS market.
Erewhon indicates it will sell pre-packaged food and alcohol in addition to groceries, meat, seafood, paper goods, and general home supplies.
Plans for the proposed market depict the proposed sales area, pre-prepared food counter, butcher area, juice and tonic bar, alcohol sales area and a seating area that accommodates 10 people, the commissioners were told.
The purpose of the 10 seats is to provide customers with an area to consume any of the prepared foods or beverages which are sold by the market, but would not allow alcohol consumption.
The consumption of alcohol will not be permitted in this area or on the shopping center property.
Space for this 10-seat area will be created by moving the front wall inward to provide an outdoor seating area with a produce/floral sales area. No additional square footage or floor area will be added to the project, as moving the front wall inward will essentially reduce the interior square footage, according to the store's owner.
The CUP is required to permit the sale of alcohol as well as the beer and wine tasting counter area. The applicant has applied for the transfer of the HOWS Type 41 liquor license to the new market.
When it came time for public comment, local activist Cindy Vandor said she came to the hearing, "Ready to say,,, no, no,no," but had a change of mind.
"It is a good thing, it is done in a structured way. We want a safe highway and to make sure nobody gets hurt," Vandor said.
Currently, Malibu is included on the list of cities that are under a liquor license moratorium. "Therefore, no new licenses to sell beer and wine for offsite consumption can by issued by the state to businesses within the city. As a result, any licenses that are 'new' to Malibu must actually be existing licenses, which are transferred from another location.
The market has recently submitted an application to the state ty depasrtment of Alcoholic Beverrage Control to transfer the previous liquor license that belonged to HOWS, commissioners were told.
There was much public interest in the kind of license or documents that are needed for a wine tasting area within a location, and commissioners discussed what is called a license "86."
At first, some of the commissioners said they would abstain from voting until they knew more about the 86 license process. After these commissioners looked up the process on the Internet, they appeared to have resolved their concerns and voted with the others to approve the tasting area.