Property owner moving forward with Riverside coffee shop and small restaurant

With a few conditions, the City of Jacksonville’s Planning Commission gave Mark Rubin the green light to proceed with a coffee shop and a small restaurant in two separate buildings at the corner of Stockton and Oak Streets.

On Oct. 20, the commission unanimously voted to approve, with some changes, Rubin’s applications for zoning variance, exception and administrative deviations.

The location of the property, between Stockton and Barrs, is zoned Commercial Neighborhood (CN). Restaurants are allowed in CN Zoning, so the applications do not need to be heard by the Land Use and Zoning Committee or by City Council.

The proposed coffee shop will be located in the building on the corner, at 2502 Oak St. The proposed restaurant, at 2510 Oak St., is located next door to a two-story multi-family apartment building. The restaurant was approved for 70 seats inside and 35 seats outside, with closing hours of midnight inside and 10 p.m. outside. An outdoor seating area will be located behind the restaurant, next to the parking lot of the apartment building.

The Planning Department denied the request for a drive-thru connected to the coffee shop but approved, with conditions, the exception (E-16-65) for retail sales and service of beer and wine for on-premises consumption as well as an outdoor seating area. The conditions will require service for outside seating to close at 10 p.m. and will prohibit outside amplified sound, televisions, live music or entertainment.

Staff also recommended that on-street parking be parallel parking. The day before the Planning Commission public hearing, a new site plan was submitted without the drive-thru, and with a request for 60-degree angle on-street parking on Stockton and Oak Streets. The Planning Commission approved the exception with 60-degree angle parking despite a request from Riverside Avondale Preservation to make it 45 degrees.

“We would request the parking angle on Stockton be made at 45 degrees rather than 60 to give more of a sight line for cars backing out,” said RAP Board Chair Keith Holt.

The variance (V-16-15) requested relief from a Zoning Code requirement to plant one shade tree for every three 90-degree on-street parking spaces. The variance request was granted with the condition that all setbacks as described in the Riverside Avondale Overlay be met, that final site design, layout and building design be subject to the review and approval by the Historic Preservation Commission, and that a minimum of 16 onsite parking spaces be provided. The proposed site plan indicates 18 spaces, including one ADA-accessible space.

The applicant also agreed to reduce the length of four parking spaces (which would be designated for compact cars) of the 16 onsite parking spaces to create a four-foot landscape buffer.

The administrative deviation (AD-16-62) sought to reduce the minimum required total off-street parking spaces from 44 to 35. It was approved by the planning staff with the condition that on-street parking be parallel, but the commission agreed to the applicant’s Oct. 19 request for 60-degree parking, of which the site plan shows 15 such spaces.

The Resident reached out to Rubin for information on the restaurant group, but as of press time, had not received a response.

By Kate A. Hallock

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