We write in order to correct an apparent misunderstanding in the community about what occurred at the Pacific Palisades Community Council Board meeting on July 27 regarding Chipotle’s application with the city for a Conditional Use Beverage permit.
Consistent with past practices, PPCC took no position on the Chipotle CUB application—it neither opposed nor supported the request. In fact, PPCC is not a governmental body and has no authority to issue or “pass” any permits or licenses; any position that PPCC might take in these matters—and it took none in this case—would be advisory only to the actual decision-makers (the city in the case of CUBs, the state in the case of alcohol or “ABC” licenses).
Taking a “non-position” on a CUB application is not unusual for PPCC and to our knowledge has not resulted in denial of a CUB permit in the past. In fact, as a practical matter, it is not necessary for PPCC to affirmatively support a CUB application in order for the permit to be granted.
An example is the case of Taste, which sought a CUB in 2014 to serve a full line of alcohol and came to PPCC to explain its request. The board took no position on the matter. Taste was later able to inform the city hearing officer that the council did not take a position in opposition; the permit was granted and the community now enjoys alcoholic beverages at Taste.
In Chipotle’s case, opinions were varied, with several meeting participants (board and audience members alike) expressing concerns and others indicating support (including two of the undersigned). The positions expressed were certainly not monolithic against Chipotle, as some of the subsequent commentary has suggested.
In the end, no motion was offered either to support or oppose the Chipotle application, and the board did not take any position one way or the other. A policy motion requires a 2/3 vote in order to become a PPCC position; it was clear from statements made at the meeting that a 2/3 vote could not be achieved either to support or oppose the requested CUB.
The board’s non-action on July 27 was responsible and proper in light of the varying opinions and evident lack of consensus at its meeting. More importantly, we believe based on experience that because PPCC did not affirmatively oppose the application, permission for onsite beer sales will eventually be granted and adult patrons will be able to enjoy a beer with their burrito at Chipotle.
Maryam Zar, Chair
George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair
Richard Cohen, Treasurer
Chris Spitz, Chair Emeritus
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