SIXTY Hotel Gets Permits for Late-Night Rooftop Lounge

The Beverly Hills Planning Commission voted on June 23 to – in a manner of speaking – raise the roof of the SIXTY Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. The Commission renewed permits for the boutique hotel’s rooftop lounge, Above SIXTY, granting it an extended hours permit. The item ran into opposition from some neighbors who worried about the noise impact the operation could have on the adjacent residential area.

The Planning Commission renewed the establishment’s conditional use permit and extended hours permit. Under the permits, Above SIXTY can operate until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and until 12 a.m. on other nights. The lounge can host up to 12 events per year that last until 2 a.m. on nights other than Friday and Saturday. Above SIXTY is permitted to have a maximum occupancy of 165 people, excluding staff.

The Planning Commission first considered the renewals at its May 27 hearing, where numerous neighbors spoke out about noise concerns. The hotel was the subject of six noise complaints between April 2017 to May 2021, five of which were related to Above SIXTY. In that same period, the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) substantiated nine calls for noise complaints during the extended hours period.

In one instance in February 2018, a resident sent footage to Code Enforcement Officers in which music could be heard beyond the hotel’s property. After multiple requests for help to BHPD in 2019, the City Prosecutor issued a letter to the hotel management and property owner, eventually resolving the matter “without further action,” according to a report compiled by city staff.

For the June 23 hearing, staff came up with three additional conditions to address potential noise spillover. In six months, the hotel must hire an acoustical engineer to analyze the sound on the rooftop and provide possible additional steps to turn the volume down. Within the next three months, the city will pop by Above SIXTY to monitor the operation for compliance with conditions and adherence to appropriate noise levels. Lastly, SIXTY must post additional signage around the lounge and in the alley to notify guests of the abutting residences.

The permits will come up for renewal again in April 2022–a time frame that allayed Commissioner Myra Demeter’s concerns. “I am able to make the findings if we keep it at this level, and let’s see how they perform for the next 10 months,” Demeter said.

Jason Pomeranc, founder and owner of SIXTY Hotels, attributed the problems in the past to an “operational control issue.”

“I’m happy to have an acoustical engineer come back to reassert his recommendations and take periodic readings from different locations as to what the decibel levels should be or are. I don’t think there’s a magic bullet to this except control of the actual operation.”

“I am not a fan of amplified music of any type in a residential area like this is, or residential transition area,” said Chair Peter Ostroff. “But I recognize that things have been different for the last 15 months or so and I also am a believer in second chances.”

Ostroff agreed with Pomeranc’s assessment of the situation as an operational issue. “But that’s on you,” he said. The next 10 months “is plenty of time to see if we can clean up our act.”

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