Patio Plans Approved, Modified and Ditched on Tuesday
The Greenfield Common Council heard proposals from three business owners to add patios to their establishments. Each owner experienced a different result.
Updated 2 p.m. Aug. 23
Three different requests to build outdoor patios at Greenfield establishments produced three very different results, disappointing some and pleasing many more.
On Tuesday, the Greenfield Common Council said OK to Los Mariachis owner Sandra Madrigal’s proposal to construct an uncovered fenced patio on the south side of the building, 4305 W. Layton Avenue, and to expand the restaurant’s designated alcohol premise area to include the patio.
Minutes earlier, alderpersons granted Mad Dog Saloon owner Dominic LaLicata permission to build a patio on the south side of the bar/restaurant, 4395 S. 76th St., but voted against allowing alcohol consumption or sales to take place on it.
And after hearing complaints of several neighbors to the east, Jeff and Robin Willms, owners of Club Paragon, officially rescinded their request to build patio on the northeast corner of their building, 3578 S. 108th St., three years after they were allowed to add a patio on the southwest corner.
Give and take for Los Mariachis
Madrigal made concessions to get the council’s support.
Her initial request was for the patio to remain open until 11 p.m., but patio guidelines set by the city years ago require they close by 10 p.m., or 9 p.m. if they are adjacent to residential areas, which is the case with Los Mariachis; Madrigal’s own home is on the adjacent lot.
“Do we really follow those things?” Alderperson Linda Lubotsky asked.
“Absolutely, this stuff is followed,” Community Development Manager Chuck Erickson said. “That’s why it was created.”
“Then there’s a lot of places in Greenfield that aren’t following the rules,” Lubotsky replied. “I’m not going to name them publicly.”
Madrigal also wanted to move the restaurant’s trash bin to a parking lot across the street, another move that would have gone against city guidelines.
“I can support the patio, the drinking and the music on the patio,” Alderperson Karl Kastner said. “I will not support this if we allow the Dumpster across the street. … Who else would not like to have a Dumpster? It’s a trend I don’t want to start.”
Madrigal agreed to scratch the dumpster request; it will remain in the restaurant’s parking lot.
Smoking, not drinking, OK at Mad Dog
Mad Dog attorney John Fuchs said the patio would be a way to contain both patrons and noise.
“Mad Dog is left to make sure their personnel keep people from walking around the building (to smoke), and they do a pretty good job of that,” Fuchs said. “The idea (of the patio) is to confine them to the front of the building … but not force them to abandon their drink.”
But Alderperson Tom Pietrowski said adjacent residents are already being inconvenienced by the noise from the bar, and this would only enhance their concerns.
“There’s still public urination going on and other activities that are not to their liking,” he said. “I can’t support it. A lot of people are still upset about the noise. … The smokers, I have no problem with. It’s the alcohol.”
In 2010, LaLicata also received approval for the smoking patio, but it was never constructed. Fuchs indicated it would likely remain unbuilt without the alcohol approval.
“A year ago, we got approval and economically, it just doesn’t make sense,” he said.
(Update: A letter from Fuchs to the city received Aug. 23 indicated LaLicata will in fact build the patio with the hopes of revisiting the alcohol issue with the Common Council at a later date.)
The Willmses dropped their request after a half-dozen neighbors who live on West Pallotine Drive and West St. Francis Drive voiced their displeasure with the Club Paragon proposal.
Neighbors complained about the current level of noise and potential lighting issues of a proposed patio. One neighbor even said he found a drunk bar patron sleeping in his truck one morning.
“Our intent was never to (tick) off our neighbors,” Robin Willms said. “It was something we thought would benefit our business and benefit Highway 100. We’re listening to what you had to say and we’re not here to get into a fistfight.”