Opposition spoke against the “bait and switch” from the SUP which originally allowed the coffeeshop to open in the first place. A next door neighbor to Buzzy’s argued that “zoning is supposed to protect homeowners”. Amy Beem, another nearby neighbor, framed her opposition saying that an “SUP is a special favor and not a right.” Neighbors expressed concerns about parking, the behavior of patrons who have been drinking, and a possible negative impact on property values.
Howard Kelman, one of the owners of the Captain Buzzy’s building, described the opposition as a “small, volatile, well-connected” group of neighbors who have taken this “beyond the pale.” Business owner Bob Buffington said that he faced the “same severe resistance” when they first sought to open the coffee shop. Former CHA president Jon Ondrak called the changes sought at Buzzy’s “a natural outcome of the positive growth of the East End” over recent years.
Council President Charles Samuels (2nd District) cited the votes of the Church Hill Association and the Planning Commission in voting against the SUP. 7th District Council Representative Cynthia Newbille described all of the different issues that she’d sought common ground on the issue. She also mentioned the initial support of the CHA and the “significant change in leadership” in the association.