Fireside Pizza may move out of Richfield if forced to comply with the city's odor control policy and other considerations, according to the restaurant's owner.
Thompson argued he has never had complaints about odors from his restaurant and that the $50,000 to $60,000 it would cost to install a mitigation system would make other potential locations more viable for his restaurant. A sprinkler system that he has agreed to install is already costing an additional $50,000 to $60,000, Thompson said, noting he has found other potential restaurant locations that already have those features installed.
Fireside Pizza fights Richfield
Thompson is planning an approximate 1,000 square foot expansion for his restaurant, located near the intersection of Penn Avenue and West 68th Street, but city policy dictates that the expansion is accompanied by the installation of an odor control system. The restaurant, in existence at the location for more than 50 years, was grandfathered in under an old policy that did not require the odor control measures, but the expansion renders the restaurant subject to the current policy.
The Richfield Planning Commission voted Monday, Aug. 11, to recommend that Fireside owner Rich Thompson be held to the city's policy requiring a Nike Metcon Brown
The plan at Fireside calls for a new kitchen, an expanded menu, a new entrance and lobby area and a complete remodeling of the interior, while increasing the building's size by more than 50 percent. With the new menu, the new kitchen will come with the addition of fryers.
It is the second time Thompson has hinted at closing the restaurant as it stands in Richfield. He balked at the requirement to install a sprinkler Nike Zoom Pegasus 92 Trainers system when he brought his expansion plans to the planning commission in June 2013.
Despite the lack of odor uproar, the planning commission voted 4 2 to recommend the city deny Thompson's appeal, a decision made amidst ongoing hopes to revitalize the aging commercial corridor of Penn Avenue.
Some of those promoting the commercial revitalization of Penn Avenue are willing to take that chance.
Thompson argued that the requirement for 29 spaces is unreasonable in the first place. Although it is physically expanding, his restaurant's seating capacity will be reduced, he said. The building expansion results from a need to "bring it up to code, for the restrooms, for the kitchen," Thompson said. There will also be more room for people in the seats themselves, Noonan explained.
The city's parking policy, however, relates to square footage and not the number of seats.
"That saves me $120,000 right off the bat," he said.
Among factors he considered was the hope that Thompson be allowed to proceed with the project while the city evaluates its policy, with the understanding that the odor control system could be required at a later date. Due to architectural complications, however, Noonan was skeptical of that option's viability.
He said the requirement was hindering his expansion plans, which he deemed necessary to remain competitive.
"I think I'm the only one that's not conflicted here," Rosenberg said. "My main concern is the neighborhoods and what's the impact."
Along with Commissioner Daniel Kitzberger, Rublein voted to grant the appeal. Commissioners Alison Groebner, Gordon Vizecky, Susan Rosenberg and Rick Jabs voted to recommend denying the appeal.
the city's requirement of 29 for a restaurant that size.
The commission voted unanimously to recommend the approval of a conditional use permit for the expansion, under the condition that Thompson come to a written agreement to share those additional six parking spaces with a neighboring property.
"I'm going back and forth on this; I'm sorry," Jabs said as he weighed the options.
"I've never smelled anything from any of these restaurants" along the stretch, Elliott said. "I don't see how adding one fryer is going to create a nuisance problem for anyone in the neighborhood."
The city has received no odor complaints pertaining to Fireside, according to City Planner Melissa Poehlman.
The odor control policy also came up last month when the proprietor of an adult day care planned to move into a Nike Zoom Elite 8 Black
Councilmember Pat Elliott, whose ward includes Fireside Pizza, came to Thompson's defense during the planning commission's public hearing period that preceded its decision.
Another concern addressed by the planning commission was the parking requirement. The restaurant's expansion means it would be six spaces short of Nike Metcon Colorways
Also factoring into commissioners' decisions, the restaurant is expanding closer to neighboring residences, 35 feet from nearest residential property line.
Some were conflicted in their decisions.
"I guess I'm willing to roll the dice at this point, that this particular odor suppression system is not going to be necessary," said Planning Commissioner Tom Rublein, a member of Penn Central, a citizen group promoting business on the stretch.
While Fireside, itself, may not produce a nuisance odor, granting an appeal would mean the potential future occupants of the building also would not be subject to the odor control requirement, according to Poehlman.
"To be realistic, the doors are about to close here," Thompson said at the time.
The parking question again brought up issues regarding the viability of Penn Avenue as a commercial corridor.
costly odor control system. The decision came after Thompson appealed city staff's decision to require the system, known as a "scrubber."
location further north on Penn Avenue. That proprietor, planning on cooking meals in a wok on a stovetop, abandoned plans to move in after her appeal to be exempt from the odor control policy was denied.
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