August 04, 2021

Council tables discussion on outdoor seating

A request for outdoor seating in front of the Lobby was tabled in order to give more time for city council members to contact the owner and learn more about the design.

The project proposes a four-foot tall fence running along the sidewalk for 65 feet on the West Adams Street side of the Lobby, 301 W. Adams St., just under seven feet out from the building. The fenced area would be used for a seating area for customers. The proposed fence would leave six and a half feet of usable walkway for pedestrians.

After a public hearing on the subject Tuesday during the regular city council meeting where no community members spoke either in favor of or against the project, council member Rich Madison voiced his concerns.

“Are we opening a can of worms by doing this?” Madison asked. “If we do it there, are we going to be doing it everywhere there’s a restaurant or bar in the uptown area?”

Matt Levine spoke in opposition of the request questioning if a seating area for a bar was appropriate for Uptown Creston, especially so close to the movie theater where children are often present.

“I think it’s too close to the theater,” Madison said. “I think especially since they don’t do food, you’re going to have people doing nothing but drinking and smoking out there. Kids are going to walk by this. They already have their back patio area for this use.”

Madison and Levine said they had few comments from citizens who were not in favor of the project.

Mayor Gabe Carroll reminded the council that one of the recommendations from the downtown assessment was to have more outside seating.

“It makes your uptown look more vibrant,” he said.

Carroll said A&G Steakhouse would like to do the same thing when their facade project is finished.

Nick Foltz of Foltzy Enterprises, which owns the Lobby, was not present at the meeting and council members had not spoken to him about their concerns.

“It would be nice if he could be here to say something to the council as a whole,” Levine said.

“He probably didn’t realize there was any opposition to it since this is the first I’m hearing from anybody about any opposition,” Carroll said.

Carroll suggested the matter be tabled in order for Foltz to address the issues brought up and for all city council members to contribute to the discussion and be able to cast a vote as Brenda Lyell-Keate, Ron Higgins and Jocelyn Blazek were absent.

In other city council business:

• the Elks Club liquor license was renewed.

• Brian Andreason was approved to be hired as a mechanic.

• seal coat projects for $660,442 were approved. A list of streets slated for seal coating is available on the city council website under the July 21 agenda.

• a $10,000 Rural Housing Assessment Grant was approved.

• the final retainage of $12,000 was approved to be paid and the engineer’s statement of completion was accepted for phase 1 of the airport turn-around project.

• a $5,500 request for funding from the hotel/motel tax fund was approved to promote Creston Parks and Rec’s summer programs. This amount was previously budgeted.

• the council approved Wayne Pantini’s request for the use of a parking space near the Union County Development Association building at 301 W. Montgomery St. to build a temporary parklet.

• parking permits were approved for off-street parking in city owned parking lots.

• a fireworks permit for the McKinley Park festival July 25 was approved.

• council members questioned the progress of rewriting the fireworks and livestock ordinances. Carroll said he had three emails to forward to Mike Taylor about the fireworks ordinance and no update had been received on the livestock ordinance.