A Manhattan Beach resident and civic group have filed a legal lawsuit against the city allowing a local restaurant to expand its local restaurant size and opening hours. The additional noise and other likely environmental impacts were not properly assessed.
Donald McPherson and Coastal Defender petitioned the City and City Council in the Los Angeles Supreme Court last week contesting the beach town's approval of a resolution that would allow the Manhattan Beach Post restaurant on the 1100 block of Manhattan Avenue to pass its Expand size, hourly, and alcohol service through an exception to the California Environmental Quality Act.
The petition seeks a court order to revoke the city council's approval of the restaurant's plans on May 14, pending the proper environmental considerations. The lawsuit also requests a judge to instruct the city to release documents relevant to the city's approval of the Manhattan Beach Post plans.
A city representative could not be reached for comment.
McPherson lives downtown and is "personally affected by the increased night-time operations of eating and drinking facilities there," the petition said.
Coastal Defender is a not-for-profit company that "works to protect the quality of life in the city of Manhattan Beach," the petition says. McPherson is the president of Coastal Defender, the petition says.
The Manhattan Beach Post is currently 3,285 square feet, according to the petition. The owners want to take an adjoining area of 1,447 square feet that was occupied by a former Subway sandwich franchise and stay open until 1am on weekends. This represents an increase of one hour from the current midnight closure and a "deviation from most similar businesses in the city". ”According to the petition.
City council members based their approval of the restaurant's plans "on their stated belief that the restaurant owner is a responsible operator and personally reliable, rather than an assessment of the potential environmental impact of the significant expansion," argues the lawsuit.
The city council also failed to take into account the likelihood that a future owner "can and will operate the combined space as a nightclub," the petition said.
In approving the restaurant expansion, council members relied on a categorical Class 1 exception from CEQA to the objections raised by McPherson and Coastal Defender, the petition says. This exemption is granted if there is a negligible expansion of use.
The Manhattan Beach Municipal Code requires the city to determine that any new or expanded proposed use meets city standards, including the Noise Ordinance, the petition said.
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