By Craig McCulloch Viewpoint staff writer Plans were announced earlier this year to convert the building formerly used by the Society for the Blind into a restaurant and beer garden called The Craft House Restaurant. The building at 2750 24th St. is across from Sierra 2. The building has been vacant since the Society for the Blind moved several years ago.
The property is zoned R-1 (residential) and requires a conditional use permit to re-establish commercial use. A public hearing was held May 11 by Zoning Administrator Joy Patterson.
The hearing began with a short staff presentation about the project. The city planner described plans by owners Larry and Dayle Rodenborn to mitigate neighborhood concerns of noise, traffic and parking. The Roderborn family resides on Third Avenue, near the planned restaurant. They previously held two meetings with SCNA and neighbors about the proposed site.
The owners’ architect described the planned mitigation factors to address neighbor concerns. These include a seven-foot-high sound wall along the alley adjacent to the restaurant. Business hours would be limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bike racks were planned to encourage bicycle use. The number of on-site parking spaces in the plan are the same as the nearby Café Dantorels. The city planner recommended approval of the conditional use permit.
More than 20 neighbors attended this afternoon hearing. Six spoke about their concerns in opposition and one spoke in support of the permit. The limited parking impacted by events at Sierra 2, additional noise in a very quiet area and delivery trucks were the concerns often repeated by neighbors. One neighbor from Third Avenue presented a five-page petition signed by 110 people opposing the restaurant.
At the hearing’s conclusion, the request for the conditional use permit was denied. After the hearing Dayle Rodenborn wrote an email message that she and Larry have no plans to appeal the decision and are uncertain about their plans for the property.