More Cooperation and Less Concrete: Vinsetta Garage…

More Cooperation and Less Concrete: Vinsetta Garage Won’t Get Zoning Change for ParkingJudy_Palmer30years

(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 21, 2014)

Residents in the neighborhood around Vinsetta Garage in Berkley have been speaking out on plans to raze three houses on Oxford to create more parking for the popular restaurant, and their pleas were listened to by elected officials at Monday night’s council meeting.

The owner of Vinsetta had asked the city to rezone the first three lots on Oxford, which they purchased from the comedysportz adprevious owners, to make the area a parking district. The planning commission recommended denying the request, and council members agreed that tearing down homes to make parking was not the best solution to problems caused by traffic to the restaurant.

“We need creative solutions,” said Berkley Mayor Phil O’Dwyer. “We need more cooperation and less concrete.” O’Dwyer noted that there are currently over 200 parking spaces in the vicinity of Vinsetta, most of which sit vacant during the busiest hours.

“There are better options than rezoning,” said council member Dan Terbrack.

Vinsetta owner Curt Catallo said that he’d tried to work out deals with neighboring businesses such as Metro PCS, but that he was unable to make agreements that were in his price range, or for the length of time spiritual life ferndalehe would like. “I don’t want to have to come back in four years,” he said, indicating that he wanted to set up a 15 year agreement with Metro PCS but was denied.

Neighbors complained that Catallo had not followed through with promises to use a lot at Eaton, which Catallo said was “muddy” and would not solve the problem. Currently Vinsetta customers park in the residential neighborhoods around the restaurant, and the valet drivers from Vinsetta do as well. Catallo bought out three homeowners in hopes of using the space for parking, and now will not be able to.

Several members of the public stated that no matter what the outcome of the zoning request, parking would seed03_ann_warnerstill be an issue that the city needed to address.

Mayor O’Dwyer said he was pleased with the civility of the discussions, nothing that it was not a matter of people versus a business, but about doing what is right for the city long term. “Parking discussions are the sign of a thriving community,” he said. “I can imagine Thomas Jefferson poking his head in around that camera, and saying ‘that’s what I’m talking about,” O’Dwyer said in regards to the democratic process in action.

Councilmember Steve Baker said “We’re paving the way, pardon the pun, for a new process for how we handle these kinds of discussions in the future.”

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