BRADENTON - An effort to permit a drive-through for an eatery on Manatee Avenue West ran into some rough seas Wednesday, and ended up being continued until Sept. 9.
William Robinson represented the Episcopal Day Private School, which was requesting the drive-through for Smoothie King.
He said the plan was approved by the Planning Commission with stipulations regarding a parking agreement, location of a Dumpster and moving an FPL transformer.
Robinson added that a middle school is being built nearby and will be completed for the spring term, and a continuance would compromise that deadline.
Attorney Patricia Petruff, representing the neighbor to the east, Smitty's Restaurant, contended that what is being proposed is not acceptable, and that the drive-through would result in cars stacking up on the easement between the two businesses.
She also wanted some parking spaces removed at the site because they were put in in 1992, and the county hadn't done a survey. "Those parking spaces really cut into the easement," she said. "So again, now that we are aware of the problem for this city council to approve a site plan with parking spaces in someone's access easement is problematic."
She said it was an issue for City Attorney William Lisch to address.
"If you do that, you are favoring their rights to use their property over my client's property rights to use the easement for access," Petruff said.
"I know this is going to sound silly," said Ward 1 councilman Gene Gallo, "but if those parking places have been there since 1992, why is there an objection now?"
"The reason there's an objection now," Petruff responded, "is because number one, until we started getting into this contentious issue where the parking spaces and the whole access between the building was being blocked by drive-through traffic, no one had ever gone out there and actually done a survey where a dotted line was drawn on the ground to show where all these easements were."
It was working until October 2008, when the drive-through was put in, she said. It's inappropriate, she said, for the council to just say that as long as it was working, we'll allow them to encroach into the easement. "That creates a possible problem for the city to now condone something where you know there is an encroachment into the easement," she said. "On the other hand, it may be an issue for the private parties to enforce."
Smitty's was there first, so its easement rights take precedence over the Smoothie King property owner, she said.
The council finally voted 4-1 to continue the hearing until Sept. 9.
Lost Kangaroo hopping across the street
The council voted 5-0 to approve a Special Use to allow Robert Woodring to move his Lost Kangaroo Pub into the Arthritis Foundation property across Old Main Street and down the block, and voted 5-0 to let him have an alcoholic beverage license and outdoor seating at the location.
Doris Black, a neighbor, expressed concerns about a bar at the corner and said she was worried about an outdoor lounge at the location, when it would close, additional occupancy and parking.
Woodring said he plans to buy the building, and the former location of the Lost Kangaroo may be turned into another bar serving alcoholic beverages. He also agreed to the stipulations of keeping the sidewalk clean and maintaining the same hours.
Park's size increase approved
The City Council approved 5-0 a Special Use Amendment to increase the size of Norma Lloyd Park and provide for amenities at the site, provided a deal is reached to buy a small piece of state land and other stipulations are met.