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Palihouse Santa Monica is located at 1001 Third Street. Neighbors to the hotel have maintained a vocal opposition since the hotel’s renovation.
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Palihouse Santa Monica is located at 1001 Third Street. Neighbors to the hotel have maintained a vocal opposition since the hotel’s renovation.

News, Planning Commission, Santa Monica

Palihouse Santa Monica Denied Liquor License At Planning Commission

Posted Mar. 20, 2014, 1:37 pm

Mirror Staff

Dozens of Santa Monica residents turned out at the Santa Monica Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday night to oppose Palihouse Santa Monica’s application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to sell alcoholic beverages to hotel patrons.

More than 40 members of the public provided comment about the permit that would have allowed the hotel to provide alcoholic beverages to hotel patrons for consumption on the premises in addition to providing hotel patrons with access through mini-bars. 

Planning Commissioners voted 7-0 to deny Palihouse Santa Monica’s permit application.

At Wednesday's meeting, UNITE HERE Local 11 questioned Palihouse’s lack of community engagement.

The Palihouse Santa Monica, formerly The Embassy Hotel and Apartments, was purchased by Avi Brosh and partner Lighthouse Investments in December 2012. Neighbors to the hotel have maintained a vocal opposition since the hotel’s renovation.

“The Planning Commission’s decision to deny the Conditional Use Permit is a win for the community,” said Melanie Luthern, organizer and research analyst for UNITE HERE Local 11.

According to its website, the Palihouse brand is “[e]stablished with the conviction that neighborhoods, unique experiences and inspiring places are integral to a life well-traveled, the Palihouse brand has been designed so savvy guests can explore the people and places they visit 'authentically' - with style, sophistication and individuality.”

Luthern called into question Palihouse’s decision to brand a hotel as a neighborhood experience when residents in the neighborhood claim that the hotel does not belong there.

“The people of Santa Monica expect developers to understand and respond to the community,” Luthern said. "In a politically active community like this one, failure to involve the community can create more than branding and headline risk for investors. This conditional use permit is an entitlement that would have added measurable value to the property.”

Lighthouse Investments LLC is listed on the deed of trust as the owner of the property. Lighthouse Investments is a privately held, national real estate investment and development company based in Los Angeles.

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Mar. 21, 2014, 12:37:39 am

John Doe said...

So... A high-end hotel wants to sell alcohol to guests, under the laws of the ABC, which require discretion, and 40 people show up, and it's a unanimous vote to nix the permit? LOL Do the residents have any clue that there is absolutely nothing stopping a hotel guest from bringing their own alcohol to the property? What incentive does the establishment have to discourage guests from doing so if the hotel is forbidden from selling alcohol at a presumably high mark-up, which benefits the residents of the neighborhood through taxes? Doesn't a well-to-do establishment have incentives to keep noise down and keep it classy? This will certainly have negative effects on the number of visitors, which lowers the room rates, which brings in a different clientele... all so that "their voices could be heard".

Mar. 21, 2014, 9:13:33 am

Earl Meyers said...

Had the same reaction as John Doe. Looks like a nice hotel. When i come to town i will stay there and bring along my trusty bottle of Grey Goose purchased at Costco.

Mar. 21, 2014, 9:14:36 am

Katherine Kayak said...

What kind of community involvement would be expected from a small, privately owned, luxury hotel not engaged in social activities? Denying the liquor permit is crazy. I've never stayed in any hotel that didn't have a Mini Bar (which I didn't use as I don't drink) but ut was oresent. Perhaps the community, which apparently has been vocal someplace, should tell us what it is that is disturbing the community about that building being used as a hotel.

Mar. 21, 2014, 11:13:00 am

Dee said...

I don't understand--here's a lovely historic building in SM, but the city doesn't want it renovated and used? I thought we cared about having a lovely city....there are new (and often ugly) buildings being allowed all the time, with plenty of drinking...why not Palihouse? This was the first I've heard about this property and the plans for it. I was so puzzled reading this, until I got to the "UNITE HERE Local 11"--I assume this is some, what you are really saying, is that the owner of the property hasn't unionized, and so is not welcome in Santa Monica. For shame.

Mar. 21, 2014, 11:30:11 am

Ryan said...

Wow. This has nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with NIMBY. Palihouse is a great property and beautiful addition to neighborhood. What is wrong with these people???

Mar. 21, 2014, 11:31:03 am

Val said...

Pali House is in an R-3 residential zone neighborhood. It is NOT zoned for such and therefore it was denied. Frankly, no business should operate within an R-3 zoned area. If you don't want to visit SaMo, that is fine with us. If you do, go to another hotel.

Mar. 21, 2014, 7:23:08 pm

Craig said...

Well good the neighborhood wins. Now I can bring my own booze drink my fill and puke in the neighborhood bushes. This is a very up scale quite venue. No booze license? Give me a break. Wait till that light rail gets going. Then the real after hours fun will begin. John Doe and Earl Meyers let's go to Costco and load up on cheap booze.

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