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Hermosa Beach Conditional Use Permit Review

For On-Sale General Alcohol Sales at:

Club 705, at 705 Pier Avenue

Formerly- Saffire, Pointe 705, Descanso and Marie Callender's



December 6, 2006
7:00 P.M.

Public Hearing(s)

Modification or Revocation of the Conditional Use Permit for on-sale alcohol,

live entertainment with two stages and additional bar and added seating,

outside dining and outside waiting area in conjunction with

a restaurant at 705 Pier Avenue, Club 705/Saffire

  1. CUP 01-1 -- Modification or Revocation of the Conditional Use Permit for on-sale alcohol, live entertainment with two stages and additional bar and added seating, outside dining and outside waiting area in conjunction with a restaurant at 705 Pier Avenue, Club 705/Saffire (continued from November 21, 2006 meeting).

Staff Recommended Action: To direct staff as deemed appropriate.

Revised CUP, documents and other evidence regarding the, Club 705 CUP Review.  Includes a summary of Hermosa Beach Police Department and Fire Department code violations; at the following weblink:

The Beach Reporter – October 26, 2006

Hermosa Beach News

City to reconsider CUP for 705 Pier club

The city of Hermosa Beach is currently considering modifying or revoking the conditional use permit for Pointe 705, also known as Club 705/Saffire. At the Planning Commission's meeting earlier this month, a staff report was presented to the commission recommending that the body “set the matter for (a) revocation/modification hearing.”

The report was prepared by local officials and recommended that the commission “amend the CUP to establish new operating restrictions for the business.” It included a three-page unsigned document bearing the name of Sgt. Lance Heard and listed 20 incidents requiring a response by local police officers. The incidents consisted mostly of fights, noise complaints and assaults. In July, officers were dispatched to the bar in response to a kidnapping report.


It went on to state that these incidents “involve multiple violations of law, including the California Penal Code, the Hermosa Beach Municipal Code, the Fire Code, as well as the Conditional Use Permit issued by the city to the business.”


The report also states that the Police Department “opposes the license transfer, until or unless additional restrictions are placed with the license.” In other words, the Police Department is not supportive of the establishment's change of ownership, which an officer testified on Oct. 17 was “still in escrow.”

In addition to the Police Department, Capt. James Crawford of the Hermosa Beach Fire Department authored a report detailing violations of various codes related to occupancy and overcrowding. “The business was in violation of Section 2501.16.3 of the Uniform Fire Code,” wrote Crawford. “Overcrowding and admittance of people beyond the approved capacity of a place of assembly is prohibited.”

Local activist Jim Lissner spoke of the perils of running a nightclub not located on the pier plaza. “I think part of their problem is that they're up by themselves so that whatever happens up there can be clearly identified as emanating from them,” said Lissner. “Whereas stuff that happens in the downtown, nobody seems to be able to pinpoint where it's coming from. I guess that's the risk of being in the outlying area.”


The owner, Tim Moore, did not attend the commission's meeting earlier this month but did submit a letter to the city, which was included in the staff report. It states that his intention is to establish a “high-end steak and seafood restaurant.” Moore also stated that previous owners of the establishment “failed to grasp” the care necessary when utilizing promoters, adding that “outside promoters” have “brought the wrong type of demographic.” Several messages were left by phone seeking comment from Moore prior to press time but none were returned.

Perhaps in response to the issues faced by the city from establishments like Club 705, the city will consider an item at its first meeting in November dealing with citing local businesses that do not abide by their CUPs.

“The city is contemplating focusing upon citations and adopting an administrative penalties ordinance to allow recovery of code enforcement costs and to avoid sending code enforcement cases to county courts,” said Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld. “This is a more cost-effective means to get code compliance.”

The public hearing is scheduled for the Planning Commission's meeting in November and is not the first time issues with that particular location have been raised. The city agreed to pay $1.1 million to the former owners of Pointe 705 after allegations of police misconduct were raised by the proprietors and a lawsuit was filed.



The Beach Reporter – December 7, 2006

Hermosa Beach News

Plans for ‘Seagal (the actor) Club' in the works in H.B.

In a bizarre twist to the ongoing saga of a local nightclub known as Club 705, a Los Angeles-based entertainment company is tentatively planning to revamp the business into a new establishment that bears the name of a famous actor with a tough-guy image, Steven Seagal.


Instead of the punk rock shows and scantily clad women currently associated with Club 705's existing lineup, a new business plan calls for the creation of “The Seagal Club,” a restaurant, sports lounge and nightclub that serves as a showcase for the former martial arts action star.

Currently, Club 705 is owned and operated by Tim Moore and Arkadi Minassian. Both are principals in the firm Maximoore Inc. According to a letter submitted to the city in November, Minassian and Moore have been operating the business “under a temporary license since June 28, 2006.”  Maximoore purchased the business from Robert Miller, a local businessman who has “recently become financially insolvent.” The transfer of ownership, which is currently in escrow, has been held up, though, due to several administrative actions, including a review of the property's conditional use permit by the city.

In October, Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld informed the Planning Commission that the Police and Fire Departments “have responded to an inordinate number of calls ... in connection with fights, public intoxication, underage serving (of alcohol) and overcrowding of this business, in violation of the Penal Code.”

The commission ultimately agreed and scheduled a public hearing to consider revoking or modifying the property's conditional use permit. But because the owners did not post a placard on the premises notifying other residents until the week of the hearing, the city postponed the matter until Wednesday night. Local officials believed the late notice would have put the city on precarious grounds should the owners have decided to appeal the matter or challenge it in court.


In the meantime, an updated staff report was prepared by Blumenfeld that concluded Club 705 “has demonstrated a clear pattern of noncompliance with many of the CUP operating conditions.” It urged the commission to decide whether these “egregious violations” justified revoking or modifying Maximoore's permit.

In an attempt to defend against these charges, Minassian submitted his company's business plan for the property at 705 Pier Ave. Minassian argued that the city should grant approval to continue operating because the new establishment will include a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and “upscale cuisine,” a sports lounge complete with 15 televisions and a nightclub in which Seagal would periodically perform with his band “Thunderbox.”

“The goal of current management is to bring the business back to its original business plan,” wrote Minassian. “The basic business plan will call for an upscale dining room as the main foundation for the business. The plan will also establish a sports lounge and nightclub.”

On Monday, Club 705's general manager Xavier Flamenco had little to say prior to Wednesday's public hearing. “Basically what we want to do is to get back to the way things were done,” said Flamenco. He added that the new owners were doing their best to be “in compliance” with local rules and regulations.


Perhaps most interesting, Seagal himself co-signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Minassian to participate in the venture, which he described as an “upscale Japanese private club.” Seagal, who is currently on tour with his band, was unavailable to comment on the proposal.

Despite Minassian's letter, residents and local officials should not expect to see Seagal wandering the streets of Hermosa Beach anytime soon. In addition to the city's administrative review, Maximoore currently has a license transfer application pending with the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.


Should the city eventually decide to deny Maximoore's permit or place any significant restrictions on the nightclub's operations, a lengthy battle might ensue that would tie up any chance of Seagal inking a deal with Minassian in the not-too-distant future. Minassian has expressed his intention to pursue a formal agreement with the actor only after both administrative matters are resolved.

Recent Hermosa Beach Conditional Use Permits for On-Sale Alcohol Outlets

Still Water Contemp. Bistro at The Hermosa Pavilion

Union Cattle Co.        The Shore Lounge     The Dragon Bar    Aloha Sharkeez / Dragon CUP Review

  HB Planning Commission Annual Review of CUP's            Mediterraneo CUP

  Lee's Teriaki & Tofu CUP     302 Pier Ave. CUP      T. J. Charlyz CUP 

   Hibachi Rest. CUP      Mama's Original CUP      Dano's / Element CUP


Alcohol Outlet Density as a Cause of Crime and Violence


Alcohol Outlet Density Research Studies


Comparison of 1998 to 2004 CJSC crime statistics for:

Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and El Segundo


Hermosa Beach Arrests, Assaults and Disturbance Calls reach all-time highs in 2004. 


Hermosa Beach News for 2006

The following Microsoft Excel spreadsheet downloads are reported crime statistics from:

 The California Dept. of Justice and The Hermosa Beach Police Department

fpdb/HBPD CRIME STATS - 1995 to 2004 p3.xls

fpdb/CJSC - BCH CITIES CRIME STATS 1998 to 2004 p.xls







March 18, 1997 7:00 P.M.


Resolution P.C. 97-17 approving a Conditional Use Permit to allow a mini-mart with off-sale beer and wine past 11:00 p.m., and a car wash in conjunction with gasoline sales; a parking plan to allow fuel dispensing areas and the car wash stacking lane to count towards required parking; and a sign variance to allow two pole signs and to exceed sign area requirement, and adoption of an Environmental Negative Declaration at 755 Pier Avenue and 1439 Pacific Coast Highway.


10. CUP 97-1 / PARK 97-1 -- Conditional Use Permit for on-sale beer and wine, and Parking Plan for expansion of an existing restaurant with less than required parking at 1132 Hermosa Avenue, Paisano's Pizza.

Staff Recommended Action: To approve said request.


11. CUP 97-3 -- Conditional Use Permit amendment to modify an existing restaurant with on-sale alcohol and entertainment to add a bar area and live music stage at 705 Pier Avenue.

Staff Recommended Action: To approve said request.








April 15, 1997

7:00 P.M.










October 19, 1999



  1. Resolution P.C. 99-54 approving a Parking Plan, as amended, allowing a change of use from medical office to restaurant use in the Plaza Hermosa shopping center located at 1559 Pacific Coast Highway (AKA 705 Pier Avenue).




May 15, 2001
7:00 P.M.


11. CUP 01-1 -- Conditional Use Permit amendment to allow outdoor dining in conjunction with a restaurant with on-sale alcohol at 705 Pier Avenue, Pointe 705.

Staff Recommended Action : To approve said request.






Staff Recommended Action: To approve said request.

Director Blumenfeld gave a staff report and reviewed the request. He said that a mature Sycamore tree is planted in the portion of seating area which may be planned for removal to accommodate the outdoor dining area. Staff believes the tree should be left undisturbed and that the seating for the dining area be similar to what was previously approved by the Planning Commission. He also reviewed that a Parking Plan Amendment is not required for the proposed outdoor design modification because of the previous approval of a Parking Plan Amendment, pursuant to Resolution 94-17. Furthermore, the Zoning Ordinance makes no distinction between seating area and dining area as far as parking requirements are concerned. The restaurant currently has valet parking for a portion of the underground parking area which does not require a Parking Plan approval unless a reduction in parking is required.


In response to Commissioner Tucker, Director Blumenfeld said the only change is to install the perimeter railing and to remove the gate.


Director Blumenfeld stated that staff is recommending that the owner submit a seating plan which will have to meet the requirements of the Building Code.


In response to Commissioner Tucker, Director Blumenfeld said that no recorded music or amplified music is allowed in the outdoor dining area, which is stated in the new Resolution.


Chairman Perrotti opened the public hearing.


Director Blumenfeld requested that language be added in Condition No. 1 stating, "The owner shall submit a seating plan to the Community Development Department for review and approval."


Chairman Perrotti closed the public hearing.


MOTION by Commissioner Kersenboom, seconded by Chairman Perrotti to APPROVE PC Resolution 01- , a Resolution of the Planning Commission of the City of Hermosa Beach, California, approving a Conditional Use Permit and Parking Plan, as amended, to allow outdoor dining in conjunction with an existing restaurant with on-sale alcohol at 705 Pier Avenue legally described as a portion of Lot 1, Tract No. 9203, and Lots 11-18 inclusive, Block 80, 2nd addition to Hermosa Beach Tract, subject to saving the tree and submitting a seating plan to staff.

AYES: Tucker, Kersenboom, Chairman Perrotti
NOES: None
ABSENT: Hoffman, Pizer




Staff Recommended Action: To direct staff as deemed appropriate.


Director Blumenfeld gave a staff report and reviewed the history of the project. He indicated that the health and fitness center is still proposed as the main component of the proposal, and the project retail would be eliminated and replaced by office space with a net increase of office space of approximately 14,000 square feet. Also, the parking demand has changed, and the owner submitted a shared parking demand study. He noted that the current proposal would place a higher burden on the daily parking requirement and management due to increased valet parking, however he said that the City’s Traffic Engineer has informed that less traffic would be generated with the office use rather than the retail. The project would require a Precise Development Plan, and approval of a Parking Plan to comply with parking requirements. An existing Variance is in effect to enclose the outdoor deck area and the project otherwise conforms with the S.P.A. 8 zoning requirements.

He said that the property would be reconfigured within the existing building footprint but there would be a substantial change with respect to a mezzanine area proposed at the third level to maximize office space. Also, the parking structure would be improved with painting, lighting, new directional signage and striping.

Chairman Perrotti opened the public hearing.

Mr. Gene Shook , ITC Real Estate Group, stated that 24 Hour Fitness has agreed that their employees would use the tandem spaces, and he said that the office tenants could be required to have their employees use the tandem spaces, also. This would eliminate the majority of the spaces used for valet. He noted that the parking intensity will be substantially less with office compared to the previous retail uses. Additionally, he said they have eliminated several spaces to help smooth the flow of traffic. He pointed out that the third floor will look the same; however, a mezzanine area has been added in the middle of the building where the loading dock area is located.

He further explained the delay of completing the building, and stated that the requirements of some of the retail tenants were extensive and costly, and the rental rates were not feasible. He also said that the property has been in and out of escrow, and he noted that 24 Hour Fitness has not had a strong financial statement, making it difficult to get a loan. He stated that he needs to have approval to move forward with the project and obtain office tenants.

In response to Commissioner Kersenboom, Mr. Shook explained that there have been a number of tenants shown the building.

In response to Commissioner Hoffman, Gary Wiggle, Keisler & Wiggle Architects, stated that more of a truck dock will be created rather than a full drive in loading area.

Mr. Shook further said that 24 Hour Fitness is proposing to have various courts, a swimming pool and spa, locker rooms, day spa and kids area which will have a low density of use.

In response to Commissioner Kersenboom, Mr. Shook stated there is a tight market in the area for large square footage areas, and he believed that if the project were approved, they should obtain tenants fairly quickly. He also hoped that he could get a tenant within a year. He pointed out that it typically takes several months in the lease process. He also said it takes further time going through an approval process with the City, the construction bidding process and construction start date.

In response to Commissioner Hoffman, Mr. Shook explained that they have a signed a 15-year lease with 24 Hour Fitness and is anxious to be operating in the property.

In response to Commissioner Kersenboom, Mr. Shook explained that it is difficult for large retail tenants to be on a level other than the ground level due to inconvenience and lack of feasibility.

In response to Commissioner Hoffman, Mr. Shook stated that 5,000 square feet of retail has been included in an area that would not be obstructive to the 24 Hour Fitness or the office tenants.

Mr. Shook noted that the restaurant uses have been eliminated which would require a much heavier parking load than office.

Chairman Perrotti closed the public hearing.


Commissioner Hoffman expressed concern with parking and maximizing the square footage. He noted that the ULI data is 20 years old and parking demands have changed. He also would like to see further information on landscaping. He said there are many unknowns such as who will be leasing the offices and retail.


Commissioner Tucker also expressed concern with maximizing the parking, and he said he is not in favor of the tandem parking for the employees, and valet parking would be too confusing. He also said there is a lot of office space for rent in the area and it may be difficult to find tenants.


Commissioner Kersenboom expressed concern with the length of time that the project has been lingering with nothing happening. He further expressed concern with the parking.


Chairman Perrotti also expressed concern with parking. He said he is not convinced that the valet parking would work, and it is unknown who will be leasing the spaces. He also is unsure if the employees would use tandem parking. He said he would like to see further landscaping on Pacific Coast Highway. He believed that the interior is being maximized, and he agreed that it has been frustrating for the Commissioners and residents with regard to the building.


In response to Chairman Perrotti, Director Blumenfeld indicated that there is room for street trees and pockets for landscaping in the front.


MOTION by Commissioner Tucker, seconded by Chairman Perrotti to DENY PDP 01-3/PARK 01-1 – Precise Development Plan and Parking Plan for alterations to an existing retail and entertainment center to accommodate offices, a health and fitness club, and retail uses, and adoption of an Environmental Negative Declaration at 1605 Pacific Coast Highway, Hermosa Pavilion, based on the parking plan not accommodating the usage of the building.

AYES: Hoffman, Tucker, Kersenboom, Chairman Perrotti
NOES: None





June 19, 2001
7:00 P.M.

  1. Resolution P.C. 01-18 approving a Conditional Use Permit and Parking Plan, as amended, to allow outdoor dining in conjunction with an existing restaurant with on-sale alcohol at 705 Pier Avenue.




Staff Recommended Action: To approve said request.


Director Blumenfeld stated the applicant is proposing a Conditional Use Permit Amendment for a restaurant expansion. He noted that the Planning Commission previously approved CUP No. 98-7 to allow live entertainment outdoor dining, extended hours and on-sale alcohol for the site formerly known as Casablanca Restaurant located in Loreto Plaza. He further noted that Loreto Plaza is comprised of two buildings located at 49 and 53 Pier Avenue connected by pedestrian bridges and walkways spanning a pedestrian right-of-way which is City owned property. The bridges are subject to a lease agreement between the building owner and the City which has been in effect for over 21 years. The previous restaurant enclosed the northerly bridge in 1991. A lease to permit use of a proposed deck extending over the right of way was not approved by City Council and this element of CUP 98-7 is no longer in effect.

Director Blumenfeld stated the current plans call for a 1,150 square foot expansion within the contiguous building extending to the south of the existing restaurant utilizing a shared kitchen but no thru pedestrian access. The current restaurant will retain the name of Fat Face Fenner's Fishack and the new restaurant will be called Fat Face Fenner's Falloon. The plans show seating for 32 with bar seating for 11. This operation is analogous to the previous approval of the former Descanso Restaurant which was replaced by Pointe 705.


He noted that the the primary issues for the Planning Commission relate to the Parking Plan, as the CUP is consistent with the General Plan and the zone; however, the replacement of second story office space with restaurant use is also a policy issue for consideration. The Parking Plan is proposed to provide remote parking, consider the parking credit applicable to the site, and approve in-lieu parking for the project.


He further noted that there are no special circumstances applicable to the project which would permit waiving or reducing the parking requirement under the Parking Plan. This project is located in the Coastal Zone and must also be approved by Coastal Commission.


The project is located in the Vehicle Parking District which permits remote parking. Remote parking for the project is proposed for 200 Pier Avenue will only be non-required parking as the required parking will be satisfied in-lieu pursuant to the applicant's request. The Planning Commission previously reviewed the parking credit applicable to the property under CUP 98-7 and found that a 624 square foot banquet facility eliminated as part of the previous restaurant use resulted in a parking credit of 4 spaces as shown on the Parking Table in the staff report. With the proposed restaurant expansion, the parking requirement is 3 spaces. These spaces are proposed to be provided through a contribution to the in-lieu parking program.


Staff is recommending approval of the CUP and the Parking Plan with a contribution to the in-lieu program to satisfy parking requirements and approval of the remote parking for any supplementary parking, as the Parking Plan approved for 200 Pier Avenue is only granted for parking after 6:00 p.m. A review of parking conditions related to the restaurant is also suggested six months after implementation of development permits if the Commission chooses to restricted business operating hours as a method to satisfy parking requirements.


Director Blumenfeld presented the requirements of the parking plan in the staff report which states that after 6:00 p.m. daily, the parking can be used as shared parking.


Vice-Chair Perrotti asked if the tenants of 200 Pier Avenue received notice of tonight's meeting. Director Blumenfeld stated they are not within 300 feet since the remote parking is about 600 feet away, however, the project site is posted and there was a published notice.


Commissioner Pizer stated there are three parking spaces required and the applicant has outside dining which requires two more spaces. Director Blumenfeld stated outdoor dining is not the subject of this application, and that if it is proposed, it will be subject to the same parking requirements as the restaurant.


Chairman Tucker opened the public hearing.


Gary Vincent, Vice-President, Fat Face Fenner's Fishack, stated when they came forward with this project, there was no in-lieu parking program in City. Therefore, they leased spaces for availability. The in-lieu is a long-term solution and because of this, they are interested in this as soon as it is available. At the next meeting, they plan to bring forward the issue of the bridge. They would like the remote parking to count as required parking in order to move forward with the project and not have to deal with the in-lieu program. He further stated that their restaurant is family oriented and 75% of their revenue comes from food sales.


Director Blumenfeld clarified there is an in-lieu program available. The applicant is pointing out that City Council has indicated they want to revisit this program . It also has to be approved by the Coastal Commission. Since this may involve a Zone Code text amendment, it could be a lengthy process.


John Bowler, project consultant, stated they took a five-year lease because the recommendation made to them was that the lease be at least as long as the lease on the business at five years. He also stated they have gone out of their way to create additional parking for the general public. They are requesting to use the lot on the weekends to make the 21 spaces available to the general public during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Also, the parking is currently operational by Ampco Parking with valet. When patrons come to their establishment, the parking is validated, but the other parking pays a fee. Ampco is currently holding seven spaces for availability for Fishack customers.


Jim Lissner of Hermosa Beach stated the conditions regarding the requirement of the percentage of food being food are not enforced. He questioned the number of licenses being approved downtown. Downtown is being intensified with most of the existing establishments lengthening their hours, adding live entertainment and dancing, and some existing licenses have increased their square footage. The bar industry is noisy and brings many cars into the City creating air pollution until late at night. The issue is not parking but the addition of more bars in the area.




Mr. Bowler stated there is a distinction between bars and restaurants. There is a necessity for diversity in the downtown area such as restaurants and establishments catering to the adults.


Chairman Tucker closed the public hearing.


Commissioner Pizer stated the remote parking cannot be considered required parking indefinitely, and as soon as the in lieu parking is approved, the remote parking would no longer be recognized as required parking.


Commissioner Schwartz suggested that the applicant be given an option of either closing the restaurant and only operating after 6 p.m. seven days a week, or reducing the area of the restaurant until the in lieu fee can be agreed upon.


Vice-Chair Perrotti stated Mr. Lissner presented the letters relating to Scotty's and applied them as relating to Fat Face Fenner's Fishack's application. The authors of the letters may not have felt the same regarding Fat Face Fenner's Fishack's application. He further stated that in the future, the businesses of the City will have to utilize more shared parking which is underutilized at certain hours. He agrees with staff's proposal to use the in lieu parking for the required parking and the remote parking to be supplemental parking. The daytime hours may need to be limited and some of the floor plan may need to be restricted.


Chairman Tucker agreed with staff's proposal. He suggested closing the north bridge area during the day. With the remote parking area, another 21 spots have been added downtown. The applicant is willing to go with the in lieu parking when it comes back from City Council.


MOTION by Commissioner Pizer, seconded by Commissioner Schwartz to APPROVE CUP 99-4/PARK 99-2 Conditional Use Permit Amendment and Parking Plan to allow for the expansion of an existing restaurant (Fat Face Fenner's Fishack) with on-sale alcohol at 53 Pier Avenue with the conditions of having 3 spaces reserved in the remote parking for the restaurant, reduce occupancy, and approve remote parking as required parking until a new in lieu parking program is adopted by the Council.


AYES: Commissioners Perrotti, Schwartz, Pizer, Chairman Tucker

NOES: None

ABSENT: Commissioner Ketz



The Commission took a break at 9:00 p.m.


The Commission reconvened at 9:15 p.m.








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