Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Council approves parking variance for Ivywild project

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 11:27 AM

click to enlarge Joseph Coleman wants to create a commercial center in the old Blue Star Restaurant building. - FAITH MILLER
  • Faith Miller
  • Joseph Coleman wants to create a commercial center in the old Blue Star Restaurant building.

After delaying a debate over parking in the Ivywild neighborhood for two weeks, City Council voted 4-3 on July 9 to let a development avoid parking requirements.

Restaurateur and project developer Joseph Coleman plans to convert the warehouse building that once housed the Blue Star restaurant into a commercial center containing a small music venue, a medical marijuana dispensary and retail space.

In May, a group of surrounding property owners appealed planning staff’s decision to approve a variance for 37 parking slots where city code required 44. The Planning Commission agreed that the variance should not have been granted.

Coleman appealed that decision, sending the debate to Council.

After debating for hours at the June 25 Council meeting, and for about another hour July 9, Council ultimately sided with Coleman. The three dissenting votes came from Councilors Yolanda Avila, Bill Murray and Don Knight. Council President Richard Skorman recused himself due to a close relationship with Coleman, and Councilor Andy Pico was absent. 

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