Planner recommends Midland shop OK

       A Midland-area bakery will no longer be restricted in terms of its ownership and operation, if the Colorado Springs Planning Commission approves a recommendation from City Land Use Review Planner Erin McCauley.
       The commission will meet in public session Thursday, March 15, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Pikes Peak Regional Development Center, 2880 International Circle.
       The Little London Cake Shoppe, which since 1997 has been at 620 S. 25th St. - surrounded mostly by residences - currently has a zoning condition that prevents anyone else from owning or operating the business at that address. Owner Jane Vasterling is requesting a variance from that condition as well as a “non- use variance” to allow three on-site parking spaces where four are required.
       Vasterling insisted at a recent neighborhood meeting that the request is not tied to a plan to sell the business. “I have no plans to sell,” she said. “That shop is my life.”
       The meeting included some residents who called Little London a good neighbor and some who had concerns. The main issues were illegal parking (by customers and delivery trucks), the hum from a ventilating fan, a trash dumpster that's attracted wild animals and delivery trucks coming in the wee hours of the morning.
       McCauley writes that “most of the adverse impacts have been mitigated or can be mitigated in some way. To this end, she has added conditions to her recommendation:
  • No deliveries before 7 a.m. Vasterling's husband Larry said this is already occurring.
  • Customers have to park along Bott Avenue (instead of 25th) and the parking lot is only for picking up orders Cars can't block the public sidewalk.
  • The trash dumpster has to be animal-proof. Vasterling's husband Larry said this has already occurred and that more frequent pick-ups are helping too.
           As for the fan hum, McCauley said it's “within allowable noise limitations.” However, faced with a next-door neighbor who called it a constant distraction, the Vasterlings said they will still look for ways to provide relief by turning the fan off when the business is closed and lowering its levels when possible. “It's not a legal issue, it's a neighborhood concern,” Jane Vasterling said.

    Westside Pioneer article