Planning Commission says no to extra parking for bar

Monday November 14, 2022 by Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission on Tuesday prevented a bar on Manor Road from building extra parking as members expressed concerns about the promotion of drinking and driving.

“I certainly think it’s not a good idea for more people to drive in bars,” said Commissioner Jeffrey Thompson.

The bar called Alright is currently under construction at 2301 Manor Road. The owners hoped to build additional parking on an adjacent lot at 2205½ Chestnut Ave, where cars for nearby businesses are already parked.

“Our goal is not to disrupt the neighborhood by on-street parking near homes,” said Thomas Duvall, the lot’s engineer. “We want to leave it where people are already parking, but clean it up and make it more usable.” The Alright shared the parking lot with Vortex, another bar next door.

City officials recommended that the additional parking spaces be approved, and some commissioners supported the motion.

“I think for the time being, the investment in this will help both the neighborhood and the businesses there,” Commissioner James Shieh said. “And sometime later it can be replaced with housing and some business.”

Other commissioners said the extra parking isn’t necessary for a bar where people will be drinking, especially since the area already has decent multimodal transport options.

“I cannot stand behind trying to pass and authorize more surface parking in an area that is so dynamic and bike-walkable and enabled,” Commissioner Greg Anderson said, adding that he doesn’t want more people drinking and drive.

Commissioner Awais Azhar said approving a surface parking lot along a major transit corridor also conflicts with the city’s transit goals.

A request for permission to park was defeated 4-6-1, with Shieh and Commissioners Jennifer Mushtaler, Patrick Howard and Grayson Cox in favor and Carmen Llanes Pulido abstaining. The planning committee had the last word.

Caption: The Alright, a bar that will occupy the building on the left, was hoping to convert the adjacent dirt car park into a car park. Photo from Google Maps.

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