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VALLEY FOCUS

Sherman Oaks : Liquor Sales, Longer Hours OKd for Mall

February 14, 1996|KAY HWANGBO

A proposed plan to renovate the ailing Sherman Oaks Galleria took another step toward final approval on Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Board of Zoning Appeals rejected an appeal by two homeowner groups protesting permission granted to mall owners by a zoning official to serve alcohol at eight new proposed restaurants and to provide fewer parking spaces than required by city law.

The board also approved an appeal by mall owners, Prudential Insurance Co. of American and Dai-Ichi Life (USA), to extend operating hours beyond limits set by the zoning official, said Associate Zoning Administrator Horace Tramel. The opposing homeowner groups are the Homeowners of Encino and the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn.

"We're pleased overall," said Joy DeBacker, general manager of the Galleria.

Prudential and Dai-Ichi are proposing a $30-million renovation of the Galleria that would expand its theater complex, reduce retail space and create a pedestrian plaza at the northwest corner of Ventura and Sepulveda boulevards.

The board's decision reconfirms the Galleria's right to add eight restaurants that would be allowed to serve alcoholic beverages. The following was also decided at the meeting:

* The board ruled that on weekday nights, all eight restaurants may serve alcohol until 11 p.m. On weekend nights, seven restaurants may serve alcohol until midnight, and one could do so until 1 a.m. All restaurants could stay open daily one hour longer than the time they stop serving alcoholic beverages.

* The Galleria withdrew its request, previously approved by Tramel, that one restaurant be allowed to provide a dance floor.

* Under pressure from City Councilman Mike Feuer and the community, the Galleria agreed to voluntarily restrict liquor sales to no more than 35% of each restaurant's total sales.

This last point does not completely satisfy Feuer, who spoke at the meeting generally in support of the project. He said he will give his approval to the renovation only if the developer agrees to cap alcohol sales at 30% of total food and beverage sales.

Three local residents spoke in favor of the project, while seven spoke in opposition.

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