Location: 1950 East Main Street
Contact: Michael Adamovich
Description: Parking review for proposed new restaurant tenant in the Mohegan Village Square.
Planning Board, 3/12/2012
The applicant wants to open a café serving tea, sandwiches and crepes in a currently vacant space in the small 2-story shopping center. The café would have capacity for 48 customers and be open from morning to about 6-6:30pm.
The application was referred to the Planning Board by the Building Department because the reuse of the existing retail space for a restaurant would increase the parking requirements for the site, making the site 13 spaces short of the required number. Under certain conditions, the Town Code permits the Planning Board to approve a 25% reduction in the parking space requirement.
Saying that he was “at his wit’s end” because of the difficulty getting the building permit and that he had nothing to show for his $25,000 investment, the applicant said that when he met with Supervisor Grace at the site, only 14 of the existing 64 spaces were occupied. And, in response to an earlier request by the Planning Department, he detailed to the board the hours of operation of the current tenants.
Mr. Flynn took exception to the applicant’s contention that the process had broken down noting that this was the first time the issue had been brought to the board’s attention. Mr. Savoca also advised the applicant that he thought his negative attitude was a little misdirected. Mr. Flynn pointed out that when considering a reduction in the parking requirements, the board had to consider a tradeoff between the positive of having a smaller lot with less asphalt against the negative of inadequate parking, citing Starbucks as an example of inadequate parking that creates a problem with the adjoining hardware store.
After reviewing the hours of operation of the current tenants in the building and the availability of two nearby small municipal lots, the board went into special session and unanimously approved the 25% parking reduction.
In response to the applicant’s impatience and question when he could get something in writing, he was advised that the Planning Department would notify the Building Department the next day about the board’s actions.