Target seeks later closing hours

COSTA MESA — Target wants permission from the city to stay open until 11 p.m. — something it did until recently without an official OK.

Target requested in a Jan. 18 application with the city's Development Services Department permission for its store at 3030 Harbor Blvd. to remain open an extra hour each day rather than close at 10 p.m.

"The proposed extra hours will provide additional employment opportunities, and the change is critical to overall store sales," according to the application.

The location's permit requires the location to close at 10 p.m., though the city learned last year that since 2010, the store had been open until 11 p.m.It had been staying open later because newer management was apparently unaware of the original agreement with the city.

Store officials said late last year that the order to stay open later came from corporate headquarters, where executives were unaware of the Costa Mesa-specific agreement. The issue heated up when the retailer wanted to open at midnight for Black Friday sales.

"Where I have a problem is when we have a business that reaches an agreement with our residents — hard-fought agreements — and we have a case here where, 'Golly, we didn't know the rules, so we're going to do whatever we're going to do,'" Councilman Eric Bever told store officials in December when they requested later hours for the holidays.

Target paid fines twice in 2011 for staying open past operating hours, and the council delayed granting its request for later hours in December.

The location is among the company's top 2% of earners among the chain's 1,800-plus locations nationwide, Jacqueline Lurner, central Orange County district manager for Target, said at the December council meeting.

The application is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on March 12.

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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