City Planning’s Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit handles the case intake for stand-alone alcohol sales and entertainment entitlements (Conditional Use Beverage (CUB) and Conditional Use Entertainment (CUX)), and administers the Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP). Additional services include clearances for building permits and stand-alone CUB/CUX conditions, zoning affidavits and effectuation notices for alcohol licenses, and monitoring alcohol cases for ongoing compliance.
The City’s permanent Al Fresco Ordinance is now in effect. The ordinance allows outdoor dining areas and alcohol service in those areas through an administrative process. Outdoor dining areas may include parking lots, patios, plazas, sidewalks, streets, and more. The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) unit administers the Al Fresco Alcohol Authorization process, from start to finish. City Planning offers a one-stop, virtual portal for all Al Fresco Alcohol Authorizations and clearances via the Online Application System (OAS).
Authorizations under the temporary LA Al Fresco program are set to expire on July 31, 2024. Don’t wait! Apply now!
Initiate an Al Fresco Alcohol Authorization and clearance request (if needed) by submitting the information below to City Planning via OAS, and selecting “Al Fresco Alcohol Authorization” under the “Alcohol and/or Entertainment” category:
- A copy of the valid City Planning alcohol authorization or approval (e.g. copy of Conditional Use Permit for Alcoholic Beverages (CUB), Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP) Authorization, or existing alcohol sales with no conditional use approval prior to March 1, 1977)
- Valid license number from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)
- Site Plan, showing the locations of outdoor dining areas in compliance with LAMC Section 12.21-A.24, property lines, seating, and points-of-sale. See the Plot Plan Instructions (form CP-7752) for additional plan standards
- For LADBS Permits only - A copy of the Clearance Summary Worksheet, if an on-site outdoor dining area is proposed concurrent with the Al Fresco Alcohol Authorization
- A fee will be charged for new Expanded Outdoor Dining Areas. Operators with a valid temporary LA Al Fresco Authorization through January 31, 2025 will not be charged a fee. (The fee amount can be found on the department’s Fee Estimator, when searching for “AFC”)
Once City Planning completes the Al Fresco Alcohol Authorization verification, a stamped plan will be provided to the applicant and included in the original City Planning case file.
Additional information on the transition to the permanent Al Fresco program–including contact and permitting information for LADBS, BOE, and the Department of Transportation–is available on the LA Al Fresco Transition Guide for Businesses.
Submit stand-alone CUB and CUX case filing packages for alcohol sales or patron dancing.
The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit handles applications for stand-alone CUBs and/or CUXs (including Main CUPs and Plan Approvals).
Complete City Planning’s Application Form listed below. Be sure to consult the corresponding set of instructions. These instructions list the required documents to be included in an applicant’s filing packet.
Submit the application package to the BESt Unit:
Option 1: Schedule an in-person appointment using the City’s online BuildLA appointment portal.
Option 2: Schedule a virtual appointment using the City's online BuildLA appointment portal.
- Drop off all case filing materials 7 calendar days prior to your scheduled virtual appointment.
- Enclose case filing materials in an envelope, and address the envelope to the BESt Unit.
- The Drop-Box is located on the 5th floor at 201 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 and can be accessed between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m, except Wednesdays 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Upon confirmation of complete application materials, a case number will be created, application fees will be collected, and the case file will be forwarded for processing and a determination by a Zoning Administrator. See Stand-Alone CUB/CUX Case Workflow for more details on the stand-alone CUB and/or CUX application and entitlement process.
Qualified restaurants may apply for a streamlined authorization to serve alcoholic beverages on-site.
The Restaurant Beverage Program allows eligible sitdown restaurants to serve alcohol through an administrative application and authorization process that takes less time than the stand-alone CUB application and entitlement process. The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit reviews applications that qualify under the Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP).
RBP has been approved for many parts of the City but is not yet available citywide.
- To qualify under RBP, a restaurant must be located within an eligible area.
- To see if a location is in an eligible RBP area, refer to City Planning’s Zone Information and Map Access System (ZIMAS)―a web-based mapping tool that provides local zoning information.
- RBP eligible areas will be indicated under the “Planning and Zoning” tab.
When ready to apply, submit the RBP Application Form and other required documents using City Planning’s Online Application System (OAS). Select “Restaurant Beverage Program” option, located under the “Alcohol and Entertainment” category.
Once the application is deemed complete, a case number will be created and application fees will be collected. The authorization process will then be completed with the BESt Unit planner. See Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP) Administrative Clearance Workflow for more details on the RBP application and authorization process.
Submit requests for CUB/CUX Case Condition Clearance and Effectuation and for Building Permit Clearances related to CUB/CUX cases.
Case Condition Clearance
Once a stand-alone CUB and/or CUX has been approved, applicants must provide plans and materials to City Planning to demonstrate compliance with their conditions of approval. The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit handles this Case Condition Clearance process. (Note: RBP is an administrative clearance and does not require further clearances for effectuation.)
- Request Case Condition Clearance electronically using the Department's Online Application System (OAS). Select "Condition Clearance and Effectuation" under the "Alcohol and/or Entertainment" category, after which the required documents can be uploaded.
- The BESt Unit will review the submitted materials and collect fees for the condition clearance process. The fees are paid online and include: (1) Clearance; (2) Monitoring of Conditional Use Permit; and (3) Inspection and Field Compliance Review of Operations. See "Monitoring Compliance," below, for more details regarding these fees.
Building Permit Clearance
If tenant improvements and/or other construction are needed, an application for a Building Permit must be submitted to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). LADBS will prepare a Clearance Summary Worksheet (CSW) that lists the items for City Planning to review and clear prior to the start of construction. Whether or not the construction is related to alcohol sales, the CSW will include past and current City Planning actions related to alcohol sales. The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit handles such CSW clearance items related to stand-alone CUB/CUX cases and to RBP.
- Request a building permit clearance electronically using City Planning’s Online Application System. Select “Building Permit Clearance” under the “Alcohol and/or Entertainment” category, and upload the CSW and building permit construction plans.
- The BESt Unit will review the submitted materials and provide clearances upon confirmation of compliance with applicable City Planning actions regarding alcohol sales. Fees, if applicable, will be collected by the BESt Unit.
Verify compliance through monitoring proactive site inspections
The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit conducts monitoring pursuant to the Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Program (“MViP” or “Program”) in order to verify ongoing compliance of conditionally approved alcoholic beverage (CUB) and entertainment (CUX) uses as well as Restaurant Beverage Program (RBP) administrative clearances. The Program is mandatory for all CUB, CUX, and/or related Plan Approval cases and for all RBP authorizations. This includes stand-alone CUB/CUXs as well as projects with multiple entitlements that include a CUB and/or CUX. There are two main components of this program:
Monitoring – City Planning
BESt Unit planners track alcoholic beverage cases following their approval (or authorization for RBP), including: condition clearance/effectuation, reporting requirements, new application requirements, and, for RBP, possible violations and citations. The BESt Unit coordinates with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) inspectors to initiate and track site inspections. The BESt Unit also assists operators in understanding requirements and regulations.
Inspections – Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS)
Alcoholic beverage establishments are subject to two proactive inspections during the first five years of operations: the first within 24 months of the start of operations and the second within 36 months of their first inspection. LADBS is the lead agency for conducting these inspections. If violations are identified or if complaints are submitted, additional intermittent inspections may be conducted.
The Program fees are required and include a monitoring fee and an inspection and field compliance review fee. For CUB, CUX, and/or Plan Approval cases, Program fees are collected at the time of condition clearance/effectuation. For RBP authorizations, Program fees are collected following confirmation of eligibility and conformance.
Note: California Department of Alcohol and License Control monitors compliance with the alcohol license
In addition to the City’s authorization, establishments that sell alcoholic beverages must also secure a license from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).
ABC Zoning Affidavits
The Beverage and Entertainment Streamlining (BESt) Unit will complete the City information items on the ABC Zoning Affidavit form. Request assistance with an ABC Zoning Affidavit by emailing Planning DSC BESt Unit (email@example.com) and attach the following documents to the email:
- The Zoning Affidavit form, as a form-fillable pdf, with only items 1-8 completed
- Copies of previously issued Certificate of Occupancy and/or Building Permits from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (available in-person at their Safety Records Division on the first floor of Figueroa Plaza at 201 N. Figueroa Street, or on their website)
- ABC Alcohol License history is available on the ABC website. Select "License Lookup" under the Licensing tab.
- Floor Plans. Be sure to include area calculations, numbered seats and alcohol storage area(s). For further assistance, consult Floor Plan Instructions Form CP-7751.
- Site Plans. For further assistance, consult Plot Plan Instructions Form CP-7752.
- If applicable, a copy of the Letter of Determination and/or a copy of the Recorded Covenant of the previously approved CUB entitlement case.
The completed ABC Zoning Affidavit form will be returned to the applicant via email.
ABC Effectuation Notice
The BESt Unit provides an effectuation notice to ABC confirming the City’s authorization to sell alcoholic beverages and confirming that the CUB approval or RBP authorization, as applicable, is in effect.
Requests for effectuation notices may be submitted via email to the BESt Unit at Planning DSC BESt Unit.
In addition to a CUB or RBP authorization, applicants must obtain a license from the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control in order to sell alcoholic beverages.