February NEWNC Meeting - Outdoor dining approved for Sail Loft, something (🤷) approved for Bencotto, and noisy neighbors
The Neighborhood Council met on Monday night to discuss and vote on two items: Permanent outdoor dining at the Sail Loft and increasing Bencotto's non-conforming 49 seat restaurant to 60 seats.
Owner Jamie Tipping, with his daughter Meredith, asserted that most of the issues he heard residents express at last month's outdoor dining meeting just don't apply to him since his outdoor dining area directly abuts the restaurant. This means that serving stations aren't blocking and servers aren't rushing across sidewalks that residents need and use to go about their daily business.
President of the Residents Association and abutter to the Sail Loft, Cheryl Delgreco, spoke in favor of the Tippings.
This application is different from the 2020-2022 temporary outdoor dining program and the permanent program that the city is currently rolling out. Under this agreement, The Tippings would essentially rent a portion of the sidewalk from the city and would not be subject to many of the restrictions or scrutiny that the outdoor street dining program has. Nearby Billy Tse's has a similar agreement already which the Neighborhood Council voted unanimously to support a decade ago. The Resident's Association opposed Mr. Tse's application at that time.
The council voted to uninimously support.
The Council voted to unanimously support this applicant as well. While I can see where nobody had good reason to oppose this petitioner, it wasn't clear at all what the Council was voting to approve. The applicant and his architect were unsure what exactly about their establishment was non-conforming - although they admitted something probably wasn't considering that "everything's non-conforming".
The petitioner also couldn't explain where the 11 new seats were going to be or what exactly was different in the plans they submitted from the existing conditions. Nonetheless, the Council proceeded to a vote which was unanimously in favor.
Some people who live in next to a bar (that's been in operation since 1963) are having trouble with noise and trash related to said bar. The bar did change hands in recent years so I hope the new owners/operators can come to an agreement with their abutters. The Council advised the abutters to leverage the Office of Neighborhood Services to get the conversation started.
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