On Thursday afternoon, June 17, the Board of Zoning Appeals will hear arguments on both the Waffle House and Brookside. Waffle House is asking for a special exemption to be open past midnight, a move which we feel is not compatible with this neighborhood. Brookside Developers want the BZA to override a stop work order issued by the City, using arguments we do not think are feasible. While we are gratified by the support and efforts of the 9 neighborhoods that have come together to make their voice heard, this is not just about these two issues, but our involvement in the future development of our neighborhood and our city. To truly make a difference, we need a strong show of support. Please make an effort to attend at 4 PM in the 10th floor Council chambers at City Hall. If you are unable to attend, please send your comments to the BZA members. Contact information can be found at this NMCA Webpage
You may also be interested in the following letter that was sent by Mayor Knox White to the BZA members on Monday, June 14.
To the Members of the BZA,
I wish to submit my personal views of the above-referenced matter before the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The request by Waffle House for a “special exception” comes to the Board because of an ordinance passed by the city council earlier this year limiting the hours of operation for ALL businesses in C2 “neighborhood commercial” areas of our city. The new ordinance requires that all businesses in the two “neighborhood commercial” corridors of our city, Augusta Street and Stone Avenue, close at midnight. The burden is on a business asking for an exception to show that its staying open past midnight would actually benefit the surrounding neighborhood.
Stone Avenue was rezoned by the city council just a few years ago to the “neighborhood commercial” classification in recognition of the close proximity and connectiveness between its commercial and residential sectors. The intent was to discourage intense commercial activity along the street and any activity that would degrade the quality of residential living adjacent to the corridor. More recently, the city completed a comprehensive planning effort in partnership with residents, businesses, and property owners along Stone Avenue.
The Waffle House is a fine business and can be a “good neighbor” to residents and the other businesses along Stone Avenue. Waffle House is welcome at this location. It should, however, demonstrate that it is a good neighbor by agreeing to play by the rules by limiting its hours of operation just as ALL other businesses in these two neighborhood corridors must do.
I am appreciative of your continued service to the City.