Denial of beer, wine permit for skid row complex will be appealed

The developer of a skid row apartment building that houses recovering alcoholics and drug addicts said Friday he would appeal a zoning decision that denied a beer and wine permit for a restaurant planned for the ground floor of the complex.

Mike Alvidrez, executive director of Skid Row Housing Trust, said the planned restaurant, a former food truck called Great Balls on Tires, could not open with its present business plan unless it gets the permit to operate on the ground floor of the six-story New Genesis Apartments.

Associate Zoning Administrator Maya Zaitzevsky ruled Thursday that serving beer and wine at the eatery would be "detrimental to the welfare" of formerly homeless residents suffering alcohol addiction.

The 106-unit New Genesis building, which opened in 2012 at 5th and Main streets, mixes artists' lofts and apartments for low-income and homeless people in a rapidly changing part of skid row where pet boutiques and beauty salons are side-by-side with homeless agencies and housing. 

Skid Row Housing Trust said the diverse demographics of the building's occupants would help integrate the homeless population into the new downtown.

The zoning administrator in 2012 granted the housing trust a full liquor permit, but the decision was reversed on appeal to the Central Area Planning Commission. The trust then filed for a beer and wine permit.

The planning commission's judgment is final unless the City Council asserts jurisdiction, Zaitzevsky said in her ruling.


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