Who Says Addison is Business Friendly?

Who Says Addison is Business Friendly?

The Planning & Zoning Commission didn’t evidence much interest in being business friendly to the owners of Antonio’s Restaurante at its Dec. 15 meeting.

The current owner of Antonio’s Restaurante in Addison Circle bought the restaurant in good faith and assumed the existing lease more than a year ago. Operations at that time included patio seating in four areas that totaled over 1,100 square feet.  Now, the Town has decided to enforce an existing Special Use Permit that would require two of the patio areas (500 square feet), to be fenced and want the new owner to pony up $12,000 to buy new fencing. What’s “business friendly” about that?

Yes, it is true that the existing Special Use Permit required fencing but it was never installed and the prior owner operated the restaurant, undisturbed by city enforcement, for 8 years. Property owner Post Properties is unwilling to pay for the required, permanent fencing despite the fact that zoning guidelines for Addison circle encourage restaurant seating and the fencing would be a permanent amenity to the restaurant space.

During the public hearing Sean Moore, the restaurant owner, made it clear that he would not pay for the additional fencing. So, tables used by smokers and residents who want to dine out with their dogs have one less option.

This is the second, longtime and very popular restaurant in Addison Circle that has been targeted for selective zoning enforcement. These restaurants provide exactly the urban, active, fun atmosphere that helps attract patrons to our town. What are the motives of the Planning & Zoning Commission in these actions?