Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bigwood Bread gets evening extension

LI location can serve until 11 p.m. 215 nights a year

Express Staff Writer

George Golleher stands in the dining area of his recently completed Bigwood Plaza in the LI-2 district. Photo by Willy Cook

    The Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission has agreed to allow Bigwood Bread late-night food and beverage service at the new Bigwood Plaza in the Light Industrial district.
    Food establishments in the LI-2 district may exist as a support service as long as they do not exceed 1,000 square feet of gross floor area, do not serve later than 9 p.m. and meet off-street parking requirements. However, Bigwood Bread owner George Golleher and his attorney, Jim Laski, successfully contested the 9 p.m. cutoff, and the City Council amended city code in July to make later restaurant hours possible provided that applicants gain a conditional-use permit.
    The matter was heard by the Planning and Zoning Commission on Sept. 22, but was continued to Monday, Oct. 13, due to the large quantity of community letters and emails that the city received.
    City Planning Manager Joyce Allgaier put forth a list of 11 conditions for approval, which commissioners amended and passed in a 3-1 vote, with Commissioner Steve Cook dissenting. Commissioner Deb Burns was absent from the meeting.
    Allgaier’s list provided an 11 p.m. cutoff for Bigwood Plaza’s food and beverage service and a maximum of 150 days per year that Golleher could stay open past 9 p.m. Golleher and Laski contested that, and commissioners voted to grant the restaurant a maximum 215 operational nights annually at no more than four consecutive days per week.
    Golleher hopes to have evening cooking classes and host special events in his new 11,000-square-foot bakery, restaurant and office building on Northwood Way. Dinners to the public will be offered, he said, but regular evening service was never something he envisioned.
    Other provisions from Allgaier adopted by the commission were no adverse neighborhood impact, late-night garbage/recycling disposal, tent/outdoor shelter erection, additional outdoor lighting or outdoor music past 9 p.m. Also in the considerations is a public hearing and report from the business in 18 months to determine whether the conditions are preventing adverse effects to the neighborhood.
    The four commissioners present Oct. 13 grappled with the language of the code, as well as the potential repercussions that late-night business in the LI-2 district could have on the community core in downtown Ketchum. Commissioners debated whether nightly service in the district would qualify as a support service after 9 p.m., considering the lack of nighttime activity in the Light Industrial districts, as well as a concern for noise levels and impact to residents of the district. There are 28 residential units in the Scott USA Building immediately west of Bigwood Plaza.
     Commissioner Michael Doty said it was pointless to amend the code with the possibility of a time change if a candidate as well-respected and flexible as Bigwood Bread couldn’t get its application passed.  
     “If the ordinance is interpreted such that it has to be an ancillary use to the Light Industrial district, why did we make the text amendment in the first place?” Doty asked.  
Amy Busek:

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