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After receiving dozens of letters from residents complaining about loud noise, increased crime, and declining property values, the Planning Commission tonight denied an application from the Wet Bar to host live entertainment, including mariachis, DJs and karaoke.
The Wet Bar, located on the southwest corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Imperial Highway, originally received an operating permit in 2012 to operate as a casual bar and lounge. But the bar expanded and earlier this year began hosting live bands, which violated its permit.
City officials recommended the Wet Bar be allowed live entertainment but with a litany of conditions, including increased security and a sound-measuring device accessible by city planners.
Dozens of residents protested, however. Seventy-six residents signed a petition urging denial of the application, and another 50 residents submitted letters of opposition.
On a 3-2 vote, planning commissioners agreed that live entertainment was a bad idea at the Wet Bar, at least right now.
“I know exactly what I voted for (in 2012), and it was a lounge,” said Commissioner Matias Flores. “What they’re asking for is basically to allow a nightclub, and I’m not comfortable with that.”
“We were told it was going to be a social drinkery,” added Commissioner Robert Kiefer. “I also feel it’s morphing into a nightclub and I don’t think that’s the right location for a nightclub.”
Wet Bar owner Luis Gomez, who said he has invested nearly $1 million into the property, can reapply for a live entertainment license in one year.