The Daily Hustle: 1/17/11

Disc golf, Lustre Pearl keep council up

Sure council could use a drink ...
Sure council could use a drink ... (Photo courtesy Flickr user Cheri Lucas [CC])

City Council took its time last week, staying into the AM to address a clutch of controversial cases.

We've already delved into the Park PUD dust-up, so now our attention turns to two others: potential disc golf at Guerrero Park, and pulling an outdoor music permit for Rainey Street bar Lustre Pearl.

While disc golf was the subject on everyone's mind last Thursday, the council took pains to convey that the zoning changes proposed at Roy G. Guerrero Park – both to the park's zoning, and the Future Land Use Map – wouldn't be the last word. “The zoning and the use as a disc golf course are two separate things,” Lee Leffingwell told one speaker. “The fact that it's zoned p-public does not necessarily mean there will be a golf course. That's just one possible use.” Laura Morrison further sussed out some answers from Planning and Development Review Department director Greg Guernsey, who noted disc golf at the site requires a conditional use permit site plan. “That site plan is reviewed by the planning commission, and its appealable to the City Council,” he said, adding another step in the public process. Both the zoning and the FLUM change passed unanimously.

Lustre Pearl's permitting snafu wasn't as rapidly resolved, taking well over an hour of council's time. The appeal of the outdoor music permit, brought by a longtime neighbor living two doors down, was successful, despite not being recommended by city staff.

Part of the reason staff didn't recommend the appeal is that some of the issues raised went beyond sound, into issues like parking, that aren't part of the music permitting process, but can be factored by council. “It's fairly simple for someone to move into one of these old houses, remodel the structure to be brought up to minimum building code standards and by right of zoning they can establish a bar,” said Guernsey, “and because there's no parking requirement, there's no on-site parking that's required, and they can utilize parking on the streets or other parking lots that might be nearby to accommodate their patrons.”

“We have a whole set of comprehensive issues on Rainey Street that aren't necessarily related to the operation of an outdoor music venue,” said Mike Martinez, taking the lead on the issue. “It's just the nature of what's going on on Rainey Street. And so I believe those issues need to be addressed as quickly as possible.” He said that he, Chris Riley, and Randi Shade would propose an item at the next council meeting addressing some short-term fixes on Rainey, “including revisiting the convention overlay to allow surface parking on vacant lats lots where currently in CBD [central business district zoning] you cannot do that.”

Longer term, Martinez said, “I'm going to make a motion to overturn the decision by staff to grant the outdoor music venue permit. What I'm going to ask is that we engage in this process and encourage the venue operators to come back and apply at a later date, once we've all seen some improvements. And we have issued outdoor music venue permits where they are in very close proximity to single family residential and we've been able to come to an agreement. ... I believe we can compromise, work together, to an agreement moving forward. My motion is going to be to overturn the outdoor music venue, but I will say I encourage you to come back once we are able to to come up with a comprehensive plan, once we deal with the issues on Rainey Street.” Martinez sounded optimistic that enough changes could be in place for a successful reapplication in the next few months.

A little more conversation transpired – largely concerning potential sound permitting for Lustre Pearl over South by Southwest – but the measure passed unanimously, 7-0. Sure we'll be seeing more here soon.

What the hell else is happening?

MLK day means city offices and facilities are closed today, in memorial.

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