Planning to consider ABC off for Union Market

11/27/2013 6:42 PM by

The agenda for the Monday, December 2, 2013, meeting of the City Planning Commission (PDF) includes an amendment to the SUP for the Union Market:

Ord. No. 2013-233: To amend Ord. No. 2006-256-268, adopted October 23, 2006, which authorized the special use of the properties known as 2300 and 2306 Jefferson Avenue for restaurant uses and the construction of an addition to the building, for the purpose of authorizing the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption, upon certain terms and conditions.

The subject property is a triangular parcel located at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue, North 23rd Street, and East Leigh Street. The property contains 3,615 square feet of land area and is occupied by a one-story brick building. The building was constructed in approximately 1915 and has historically been used for retail purposes.

In 2006, the applicant petitioned City Council to construct a 654 square foot addition to the existing building, expand the operations to a full-scale restaurant, including the sale of ABC products on premises, and construct an outdoor dining area. All of these uses were permitted in the underlying B-2 zoning. The special use permit was required to authorize a waiver in the parking requirement. City Council approved the petition, limiting alcohol sales to beer and wine and for on-site consumption only. The applicant is requesting an amendment to the current SUP to allow for sale of beer and wine to take off premises.

The current special use permit limits the use of the property as a restaurant and accessory uses, which may include a food delivery service, retail or catering. The proposed off-premise sales of alcohol would be part of the retail or market use of the property. Such a use would otherwise be permitted in the underlying zoning, but because the property is subject to an existing special use permit that waived the parking requirement and specifically limited the sale of beer and wine to only on-premises, the property owner has requested a special use permit amendment.

The Richmond Master Plan designates this property as Neighborhood Commercial. “Within the East District, there are numerous, isolated single-site commercial uses (either the traditional “corner” store or groupings of businesses in the center of the block),” (p.170).

The guidance regarding corner commercial uses suggests they are appropriate provided that care is taken to ensure that the uses are not a nuisance to the surrounding residences. The current conditions include limiting the hours of operation from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily and requiring the on-premises consumption of alcohol to be permitted in accordance with Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Wine and Beer On- premises license. Off-premises sale of alcohol would also be required to be in accordance with Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage licensing.

The applicant submitted a petition with more than 300 signatures supporting the sale of beer and wine for off-premises consumption. In addition, the Union Hill Civic Association has provided a letter of support for the request.

The subject property is surrounded on all sides by public right-of-way and is not directly adjacent to any residential uses. In addition the subject property is located on a commercial collector street as identified in the City’s Master Plan and by the underlying zoning. Staff finds that given these unique characteristics of the subject property the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption would not have a negative effect on residences in the area.

Furthermore, staff finds that the sale of alcohol is permitted by-right in the underlying zoning district. The original special use permit authorized a parking waiver for the restaurant use of the property. Staff finds that the retail (off-premise) sale of alcohol would not increase the parking requirement that was waived by the original special use permit.

Staff finds that the proposal meets the City Charter criteria for the granting of special use permits. Specifically, the proposal would not be detrimental to the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the community established by the City’s Master Plan and the underlying commercial zoning district. Therefore, staff recommends approval of the special use permit request.

The meeting will be held at 1:30pm in the 5th Floor Conference Room of City Hall. Contact Lory Markham at (804)646-6309 with any questions or concerns.

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