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East Valley Focus

SHERMAN OAKS : Planning Panel Eases Restrictions on Cafe

November 03, 1993|HUGO MARTIN

A Los Angeles city planning panel voted Tuesday to ease a set of restrictions imposed on a Sherman Oaks coffeehouse after neighbors complained about late-night noise and parking problems.

But the decision by the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee to modify conditions imposed by city zoning officials did not appease John Dunn, co-owner of the Insomnia Cafe. After the committee's vote, he vowed to sue the city over the remaining conditions.

"I'm fighting against politics," Dunn said.

After being deemed a public nuisance by a zoning administrator in March, the Insomnia Cafe was ordered by the Board of Zoning Appeals to cut back its late-night hours, provide uniform security guards after 5 p.m. and provide 25 parking spaces for its patrons.

Under the order, the cafe, at 13718 Ventura Blvd., would close at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursday and at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The cafe had operated until 4 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and until 3 a.m. on other days.

Dunn appealed the order to the committee, which eased the restrictions by allowing the cafe to use only one uniformed security guard and provide only 10 parking spaces during the day and an additional 15 spaces after 7 p.m. The cafe must also provide valet parking service after 7 p.m.

The committee also agreed to extend the cafe's morning operating hours from 10 a.m. to 7 a.m.

City officials said they would give Dunn until Dec. 1 to comply with the new restrictions before considering whether to initiate a procedure to close the cafe.

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