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Iranian Jewish Center Faces Permit Changes

April 02, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

In response to neighbors' complaints about excessive noise in the early morning hours, the city of Los Angeles has clamped down on late-night parties at the Eretz Cultural Center on Wilbur Avenue.

The city's Board of Zoning Appeals on Tuesday upheld a zoning administrator's changes to the center's permits, requiring that parties shut down by 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, the board ordered that the center, also known as the Valley Iranian Jewish Center, provide a phone number monitored at all times by an operator to take residents' complaints.

Finally, the board limited access to the facility from Erwin Avenue, where many of the neighboring homes are located.

Ken Bernstein, planning deputy for Councilwoman Laura Chick, said that as the representative of the area, Chick worked hard to accommodate the facility because of its importance to the Iranian Jewish community.

But he added that if center officials do not comply within six months, the facility may be closed.

Representatives of the center said Wednesday that they would comply with the new restrictions, but will soon decide whether to appeal the board's decision to the City Council to loosen the conditions.

Officials said that neighbors have complained for five years that parties that were scheduled to end at 2 a.m. on weekends continued until 3 and 4 a.m.

Brad Rosenheim, a development consultant for the center's board of directors, said the trouble was with the caterer that exclusively organizes parties for people renting the facility.

The caterer, whom he declined to identify, had been given the responsibility of enforcing the permit's curfew, but failed to do so on occasion, he said.

"They'll be taking the code requirements out of the sphere of responsibility of the caterer, and take it upon themselves to enforce them," Rosenheim said of the board's initial plans. The board will probably hire an outside security company to ensure that parties end on time, he added.

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