Mozambique back on the grill

Council members will try to mediate between restaurant and residents who want to tone down late-night revelry.

September 23, 2010|By Barbara Diamond,

Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman and City Councilman Kelly Boyd will chair a meeting at 2 p.m. today at Mozambique to discuss ways to resolve complaints from the restaurant's Woods Cove neighbors.

The council voted 3 to 2 Tuesday to allow the extended hours requested by the restaurant owner and vehemently opposed by some of the neighbors to continue until December while discussions are underway.

"We have to fix this," Mayor Pro Tem Iseman said.

One solution proposed is resident-only parking. The theory being that if parking is restricted to residents, late night revelers won't be wandering around the neighborhood to find their cars.


"But this is not about parking," Iseman said. "It is about noise."

The formation of the committee came at the conclusion of an-hour-and-25-minute review of the restaurant's conditional use permit, which permits the restaurant to be open from 8 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

City staff said no significant violations of the permit warranted more restrictive hours. Police reported only four phone calls related to the address of restaurant, but concluded none appeared to be related to the bar or the music, which is a significant component of the restaurant's popularity.

However, 39 people signed a petition asking the council to cut the hours back, enforce restrictions that prohibit sectioning the building for separate operations, removal of tables and chairs in the bar to make room for dancing and concert goers and to rescind approval of a cover charge.

Ten people in the audience spoke against the extended hours and activities they said destroys the tranquility of the neighborhood.

"You cannot mitigate the impacts," said Jeffrey Kaplan, who submitted the petition.

Mallory McCamant said the neighbors had tried to reach a solution with the restaurant representatives, but the outcome was not what anyone hoped for, in spite of everyone's best efforts.

"There are activities that just don't belong in a neighborhood," she said.

Woods Cove resident John Ferrante said the neighbors have been made the bad guys

"It is amazing what free food and drinks will do," Ferrante said. "He [restaurant owner Ivan Spiers] is going to get what he wants and screw us. You took this from the Planning Commission and shoved it down our throats."

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