Restaurant allowed to expand, sell alcohol

NORWALK - A Mexican food eatery, located at 11042 Rosecrans Ave., can now legally keep its 270-sq.-ft. expansion and sell alcoholic beverages after the Norwalk Planning Commission granted the 1,500-sq.-ft. restaurant a conditional use permit last Wednesday.During the commission meeting, property owner Edgar Moore received his request to legalize a 247-sq.-ft. expansion to his existing restaurant, which seats 35 people, along with a license for the on-site sale of beer and wine. Noting the absence of Chair Lissa Topping Romero, the commission voted unanimously to approve the permit that also allows Moore to incorporate additional parking on the property due to the increase of restaurant floor area. The existing restaurant suffered fire damage in July 2010. During the fire repair permit process, the illegitimate expansion into neighboring tenant space was discovered. Based on city municipal code, the expansion was deemed a substantial change in need of commission approval. According to city staff, the new allowances should not pose any inconsistencies or public safety concerns in the surrounding neighborhoods. As added safety measures, however, city staff included several conditions for approval including limiting the hours in which alcoholic beverages can be sold to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., adding a surveillance system and lighting. The Planning Commission also denied a request from National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) Training Centers of Southern California and its president, Michael Kerwin, who sought to classify the school as a business college. Founded in 1968, the Training Centers of Southern California has prepared nearly 10,000 men and women for a career in the machining, tooling, and manufacturing industry. Offering a wide spectrum of training, the school touts modern classrooms, state-of-the-art machinery for extensive hands-on practice, and six distinct training programs. During the commission's last meeting on June 13, Kerwin implored the commissioners to consider the reclassification as it would allow the manufacturing school to relocate from an industrial area of Norwalk to a commercial zone. While sympathetic to its appeal, the commission directed staff to prepare a resolution denying the classification. Last Wednesday, in a 2-2 vote, NTMA Training Centers of Southern California's request was denied as Commissioner Scott Collins and Vice Chair Jennifer Perez indicated that a machining, tooling, and manufacturing training center is not a business college, but rather an industrial school that must be established in an industrial zone. NTMA Training Centers of Southern California is based in Norwalk, but has a satellite campus and administrative offices in Ontario.

********** Published: July 05, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 12