(Plain Press, September 2016) At the City of Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on August 22, Board members had some reservations about allowing variances for two businesses at W. 65th and Detroit asking relief from parking requirements. Board Member Carol Johnson said Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization needs to get a copy of its master plan to the Board of Zoning Appeals. She said she didn’t want the Board of Zoning Appeals to be in a position where it is granting variances for 1,000 parking spots and there are only 200 spots available. Johnson said a parking study needs to be done.
The two businesses requesting variances already have a reduction in the number of spots required because the area is in a Pedestrian Retail Overlay District.
The pinball arcade at 6500 Detroit wants to expand to include a kitchen and a bar where they can sell mostly fried foods and drinks to customers. City officials estimated that the 3600 square foot parking area required for the business would hold 15 or 16 cars. No parking places were proposed by the owner.
The other business, Brewnuts, hopes to locate at 1408 W. 65 (aka 6501 Detroit). The building previously held the office of Councilman Matt Zone and before that Zone Travel. The owners of Brewnuts want to sell donuts made using local craft beers in the morning with coffee and in the nighttime with beer. The requirement for their business would be to have 9 parking spaces, none are proposed by the owner.
Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone pleaded on behalf of the businesses noting 243 public parking spaces in the neighborhood and the requirement that the businesses sign a parking agreement with Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. The parking agreement would require employees of the businesses to park in private lots (such as Neighborhood Family Practice’s lot) leased by DSCDO on weekend evenings. In addition, the businesses would have to sign on to DSCDO’s valet parking program.
Board member Tim Donovan thought it would be breaking a precedent to allow the variance without having signed agreements from the business owners. However, Councilman Zone said he would personally guarantee that the owners would sign the agreements. He said, “My word matters. I will put pressure on the CDC to terminate their leases if they don’t sign.”
The Board of Zoning Appeals approved the variances, allowing the businesses to open on the condition that it receive, when available, signed DSCDO parking agreements with each of the owners’ signature on them.
In another matter related to parking, the Board of Zoning Appeals postponed the hearing on the expansion of TownHall on W. 25th until October 3rd. TownHall located in the West Side Market Area Pedestrian Retail Overlay Zone wants to add over 200 seats without creating any additional parking spaces. Because it is in a Pedestrian Retail Overlay Zone, the parking requirement already is reduced from 54 spaces to 36 spaces.