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Club 740 Survives Revocation Process, but Receives New Conditions

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009, at 02:40PM
Just like nobody else Daniel [Flickr]

Club 740 has survived revocation proceedings that could have closed the venue, but will be forced to operate under tougher conditions according to a determination letter sent out today by the city's Zoning Administrator.

The 838-person club has a checkered history Downtown. While it is acknowledged for bringing life back to a historic theater, the venue also had a history of violent crime and noise issues.

After a four-hour hearing held in February, representatives of the club worked with LAPD and the Council office to draft new conditions that would allow the club to remain open.

Club owner Ralph Verdugo today called the final conditions imposed by Assistant Zoning Administrator Lourdes Green "strong," but said that 90% of the new conditions were already in place at 740.

Noise from the club had been a point of contention with the neighboring Chapman Lofts, and Verdugo said that he has been working closely with the building to conduct noise testing inside units to make sure the club's new volume control efforts are working.

Toughest of the changes is a condition that requires the venue to close and be cleared by 3am. The 2005 Conditional Use Permit had allowed the club a 6am close. Verdugo said that while he never stayed open that late, allowing patrons to stay past 3am provided a business advantage and allowed guests to sober up before leaving.

The same condition forbids any new patrons to enter the club after 1am.

Many of the issues raised in the revocation process had involved the parking lot at the corner of 8th and Spring, which Club 740's alley entrance opens onto. A change in operation has made a big difference there, according to Verdugo.

Prestige Parking recently took over operation of the lot, and Verdugo said that the firm has been great at working with the club to allow its security guards to patrol the lot. It also agreed to a shared clean-up plan, and to provide more consistent rates to club-goers.

The new conditions were mailed to the club today, and are effective as of August 7, 2009. Club 740 is required to file a Plan Approval in six months, at which point the Zoning Administrator's office will survey surrounding property owners and residents to determine if the new measures are working.

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