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Compromises worked out to buffer West Colorado Avenue brewpub from residential property

The Cerberus Brewing Company proposal includes an outreach to the cycling community, as indicated by this customized fence plan for the patio next to Colorado Avenue.
Echo Architecture graphic - photographed from Springs TV
       Planning Commission inventiveness at an Aug. 20 public hearing apparently resolved the concerns of a residential landlord regarding a planned brewpub next door to her property.
       After hearing comments pro and con, the appointed body's members hammered out a set of conditions to mitigate the bar's proximity to the homes that Bonnie Olson rents out at 23 McKinley Place and 712 W. Colorado Ave.
       The proposed business, the Cerberus Brewing Company at 702 W. Colorado Ave., still needs City Council approval. That's because Cerberus' four requests for the currently vacant 9,250-square-foot property included a zone change.
       The commission members voted for that change
Jerry Morris, the principal owner of the Cerberus Brewing Company, speaks to the Planning Commission at the meeting Aug. 20. Seated in the front row behind him is Ryan Lloyd, his architect, with Echo Architecture.
Westside Pioneer photo from Springs TV
(from C-5 to C-5P, which would halve the normal parking requirements), as well as for the following:
       - A development plan, which the group amended to create a 20-foot setback with an 8-foot wall and landscaping to buffer the Olson properties from an outdoor patio that Cerberus intends to set up just west of the site's 3,538-square-foot building.
       Before the meeting, under a recommendation by City Planner Michael Turisk - in keeping with the developers' proposal - there would have been no setback at all between the patio and the homes. Some trees were to be planted and dark slats inserted in an existing three-foot-high chain-link fence along the property line, but multiple commission members were grumbling even before Olson's comments that such remedies were probably insufficient. “I'm not sure that's going to do an awful lot for sound mitigation,” commented commission member Robert Shonkwiler, speaking about the slats.
       - A non-use variance, which would allow less than 200 feet between a liquor establishment
Bonnie Olson, who owns the residential property just west of the Cerberus Brewing Company lot, speaks at Planning Commission. Michael Turisk, the city planner assigned to the project, is seated in the front row behind her.
Westside Pioneer photo from Springs TV
and homes. This now includes conditions for no outside speakers or live music, lighting that does not go toward the homes and closure of the business by 10 p.m. Going into the meeting, the only recommended conditions had been to control the lighting and to prohibit amplified outdoor sound after 9 p.m.
       The fourth Cerberus request was for a “vacation of right of way,” (asking the city to give up a public alley that bisects the northerly end of the property), but the commission was not convinced this was needed, and the developer did not argue otherwise. So it was voted down.
       Despite the complications, commission members did speak highly of the project concept, agreeing with project architect Ryan Lloyd about Cerberus' potential for bringing the former veterinary hospital site back to life.
       “These infill decisions are always difficult, trying to come up with something that's equal for everyone,” said Eric Phillips, the meeting chair. “Sometimes we [commission members] get into the process of redesigning projects, and that's not what we're here for. But I think this is a good infill project and I'll be in support.”
       Jerry Morris, the principal owner of Cerberus, also owns two bars downtown, he said at the meeting. But he added that he was not seeking a late-night type of locale for the West Colorado location and had never even wanted any outside music.
       He told the commission he had tried to talk with Olson beforehand, but she had not reciprocated. Her story
A graphic shows how the plan looked going into Planning Commission meeting Aug. 20. North is to the right. At the meeting, the commission agreed on conditions that would pull back the beer garden/outdoor patio so it's not right on top of the neighboring residential property to the west (shown as a long gray rectangle in the graphic). Adding to the buffer there will be an 8-foot wall and landscaping, the commission agreed.
Echo Architecture graphic - photographed from Springs TV
was that Morris had shown up one day where she works with people with mental disabilities, and she couldn't make time then, but asked him to call back and he never did. “I was shocked when I heard there would be no buffer,” she said.
       However, she told the commission she didn't want to stand in the way of the project. Both the patio and parking lot come up to her property line, but she was more worried about the patio being a problem for her tenants.
       Other residents on McKinley had written the city to voice project concerns, but they did not speak at the meeting. Other than Olson, two others who spoke in opposition live or own property on Seventh Street and were worried about the limited off-street parking causing bar customers to cross Colorado Avenue and park there.
       Lloyd successfully argued that it would be “inappropriate” on an infill project like this for the city to require full compliance with the normal off-street parking requirements. If such were required on all infill projects in the city's core, he said, the result would be an unsightly “sea of asphalt.”
       He and Morris contended that there is enough off-street parking near the property to handle typical parking lot overflow, thus not causing problems for the residential neighbors.
       No date has been set for when City Council will consider the Cerberus zone change, but it will likely be at a meeting in September.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/20/15; Land: Proposals)

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