The Applicant, La Habra Associates, LLC, is proposing to operate a restaurant (Ruby Red's BBQ) with on-sale beer and wine within a commercial suite located within a commercial shopping center (La Habra Marketplace). The subject commercial shopping center is located on the north side of Imperial Highway between Beach Boulevard and Idaho Street. The General Plan land use designation is Community Shopping Center 2. The property is zoned C-2sh (Community Shopping Center High Density) which is consistent with the General Plan.
The La Habra Marketplace is approximately 35 acres in area and contains 14 pad buildings, 3 drive-thru restaurants, and 2 multi-tenant buildings that contain a variety of retail uses, restaurants, a movie theater, and professional/service-oriented businesses. The proposed project involves the operation of a restaurant within the former Pizza Rev suite located near the Ross retail store which is situated near the north-westerly area of the shopping center. The former restaurant, Pizza Rev began operation on January 7, 2015, and ceased operation in December 2017. A time extension was approved in 2018 to maintain the restaurant and alcohol CUPs active, however, they expired in 2019.
The Applicant is requesting to re-entitle the suite to allow for the operation of a barbeque style restaurant, Ruby Reds BBQ, with a Type 41 On-Sale Beer and Wine ABC license. The subject suite is approximately 2,236 square feet and includes a 584 square foot outdoor seating/patio area located along the westerly side of the suite. The outdoor seating area will be improved with a patio cover under a separate permit. The restaurant operator is also requesting to place a life-sized bull statue within the gated/enclosed outdoor seating area with a wood frame background to function as a photograph opportunity for restaurant guests. The restaurant will provide premium quality barbeque and will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily and will have 15 employees.
The proposed project is before the Planning Commission pursuant to La Habra Municipal Code (LHMC) Section 18.06.040.A, which requires approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the establishment of a restaurant and all alcohol related uses within the C-2sh Zone. In order to grant the Conditional Use Permits for this request, all of the following findings must be made:
- The granting of the Conditional Use Permit will not be detrimental to the public welfare and will not unreasonably interfere with the use, possession and enjoyment of surrounding and adjacent properties and will not impair the character of the zone in which it is to be located.
- The subject site is physically suitable for the type of land use being proposed.
- The use is conditionally permitted within the subject zone and complies with the intent of all applicable provisions.
- The granting of the Conditional Use Permit is consistent with the General Plan.
The requested CUPs will not be detrimental to the public welfare as the requested entitlements will require approval by the City as well as the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Orange County Health Care Agency. All three agencies have the same common goals to uphold public safety and the wellbeing of customers and business operators. The Applicant will be required to comply with all applicable regulations and obtain all required permits before operating.
The proposed restaurant will be operating within a commercial suite that previously had a restaurant with a Type 41 License. All restaurant activities will be conducted within the enclosed building and within the gated/enclosed outdoor seating area. The proposed hours of operation are also consistent with other restaurants located within the commercial center. On-site parking has been addressed via a parking addendum to the parking study approved for the construction of the drive-thru Starbucks building at 1901 W. Imperial Hwy. At the time the original parking study was approved, the subject suite was identified as being vacant. The addendum determined that the operation of a restaurant within the subject suite will not create a parking deficiency and that there is sufficient onsite parking to support the parking demand during the anticipated peak periods.
The subject suite is located near a 30-foot wide permanent easement right-of-way owned by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California located along the northwesterly corner of the subject suite (near the outdoor patio area). MWD is requiring that all proposed improvements near the easement be designed to be removable. The identified features that will be located near the easement include patio railing and decorative features. The restaurant operator is aware of the easement and is in agreement with MWD's requirements. A condition of approval has been included on the restaurant CUP to comply with MWD's requirements.
The General Plan land use designation for the subject property is Community Shopping Center 2. This land use designation is characterized by a variety of commercial uses serving the larger citywide area as well as the immediate surrounding communities. This land use category includes centers that have a principal outlet or anchor that includes a variety store, supermarket, or home improvement store and a range of food, convenience goods, and specialty retail/merchandise commercial uses. The operation of a restaurant with alcohol sales and service is compatible with the land use designation.
The project also includes a Type 41 On-Sale Beer and Wine License in conjunction with the restaurant. The requested alcohol sales are an ancillary use to the restaurant. The project will include the same conditions of approval imposed on other restaurants operating within the City with alcohol sales to ensure that the operational nature of the proposed restaurant and alcohol sales will not change. As an example, the sale of alcoholic beverages cannot exceed 50 percent of the total food sales. The restaurant operator is also required to implement responsible alcohol server requirements as required by ABC regulations.
The subject commercial shopping center is located within Census Tract 13.01 which allows for a total of seven on-sale licenses before a level of "Undue Concentration" is reached as determined by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). There are currently seven active on-sale licenses, five of which are located within the subject commercial shopping center (Red Robin, Rubios, Imperial Karaoke, Asahi Sushi, and Regal Theater). The pending CUP application will make it the 8th on-sale license within the Census Tract providing a level of Undue Concentration. Pursuant to Section 23958.4(b)(1) of the California Business and Professions Code, the Applicant will be required to provide ABC with data to support a Finding of Public Convenience and Necessity (PCN) before the Type 41 License can be issued. It should be noted that the previous restaurant operator was issued a Type 41 License under the same circumstances.
On-site parking has been addressed via an addendum to an approved parking study. The addendum is included as an attachment to the staff report.
- On August 1, 2014, the Planning Commission approved Conditional Use Permit 14-11 for a restaurant and Conditional Use Permit 14-12 for a Type 41 On-Sale Beer and Wine License in conjunction with a restaurant at 1841 West Imperial Highway, Suite B (Pizza Rev).
- On September 10, 2018, the Planning Commission approved Time Extension 18-01 for CUP 14-11 for a restaurant and Time Extension 18-02 for CUP 14-12 for a Type 41 On-Sale Beer and Wine license at 1841 West Imperial Highway. The entitlements expired on September 10, 2019.