Bold Bean withdraws application to serve food, alcohol outdoors

Despite approval by the City’s Planning Commission, Bold Bean Coffee Roasters in San Marco will not be offering outdoor seating for patrons to consume outside food and beverages they have purchased inside the coffee shop.

The City’s Planning and Development Department had approved the application with conditions, including adding two more parking spaces, bicycle parking and bringing landscaping up to code. The Planning Commission’s approval was given at its Sept. 27, 2017 meeting, but without requiring the conditions be met.

When Robert Harris Trust, located next door to Bold Bean, and Southside Baptist Church, across the street from the coffee shop, learned the Planning Commission had approved Bold Bean’s application with none of the conditions required, they both appealed the decision.

Robert Harris Trust and Southside Baptist Church have expressed safety concerns about the lack of adequate parking for Bold Bean Coffee patrons. Although patrons were able to use Southside Baptist Church’s parking lot when the shop first opened, currently they are not allowed to use either the church or Harris’ parking lots.

“Our issue with Bold Bean has always been and remains the safety of our friends and neighbors attempting to cross Hendricks Avenue,” said Dr. Gary Webber, senior pastor of Southside Baptist Church.

In the past, Harris has expressed concern about the restaurant’s lack of adequate parking, especially without the availability of the church’s parking lot. According to Harris, Bold Bean’s patrons park in his parking lot, displacing his staff and clients, and then walk to the shop next door. Delivery trucks for the shop have used his parking lot as well, or blocked traffic on Hendricks Avenue because they don’t have room in Bold Bean’s parking lot.

A public hearing before the City’s Land Use & Zoning (LUZ) Committee regarding the appeals by Robert Harris Trust and Southside Baptist Church was originally scheduled to be heard on Jan. 3 but was rescheduled for Feb. 6.

During the Feb. 6 LUZ Committee meeting, Paul Harden, attorney for the appellants (Harris and Southside), stipulated to a remand back to the Planning Commission that the exception will be withdrawn. Bold Bean’s attorney, T.R. Hainline, confirmed the applicant (Bold Bean) for the exception agreed to the withdrawal, the stipulation for the withdrawal, and the remand for the withdrawal.

District 5 Councilwoman and LUZ Committee Vice Chair Lori Boyer made the motion that the committee remand the exception back to the Planning Commission with explicit directions that they are to accept the applicants’ requested withdrawal.

“If the appellants withdraw their appeal, but the applicants were to change their minds when the exception gets back to the Planning Commission, then we could have an exception that has been granted, but the appeals have been withdrawn,” she said.

The motion passed unanimously.

Despite Bold Bean Coffee’s withdrawal of its previously requested exception, Southside Baptist Church does not plan to open up its parking lot again to the shop’s patrons. “We are glad Bold Bean has withdrawn their request for outdoor sales, as any increase in their seating capacity only increases the demand for parking and thus the number of people attempting to cross Hendricks,” Webber said.

“We continue to believe the long-term solution to this problem lies within the power of the property owner, Mr. Turner. If he would use the vacant property he owns next door to Bold Bean to build adequate parking, it would alleviate the need for people to cross Hendricks at such a dangerous location,” Webber said.

“This action would also engender the goodwill of all of our neighboring businesses and residents who are feeling the pressure of inadequate parking. Because of the continued safety concerns, we have no plans to make our parking available to Bold Bean at this time.”

When The Resident reached out to see if Bold Bean and Turner Plumbing had plans to add parking by demolishing another building on the property, Bold Bean’s Zack Burnett stated, “I personally don’t have any more time to dedicate to this nonsense with Harris and the church. We are in full compliance with our operations and look forward to putting this behind us.”

Robert Harris Trust also did not wish to comment at this time.

By Karen J. Rieley
Resident Community News

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