The Planning Board approved an application from the owners of 1601 Drexel Avenue that will allow them to bring a Time Out Market to their long-vacant ground floor space below a parking garage. Originally, Paul Cejas planned to have multiple tenants in the space but his attorney, Michael Larkin, said Cejas was looking for a quality tenant with longevity that would bring value to the community. He believes he’s found that in Time Out Market.
The market, which currently has a location in Lisbon and one soon to open in London, is described as a high-end food hall where up-and-coming chefs and restaurants that want to try new concepts can test them before rolling them out.
Neighbors expressed concern about the request for an entertainment license and the potential noise. Attorney Monika Entin said entertainment at the market isn’t always what is traditionally defined as entertainment. In this case it means cooking classes and artists quietly painting though she said DJs are also part of the on-site entertainment plans.
Time Out agreed to a compromise on hours of operation, closing its sidewalk café at 10 pm Sunday through Thursdays, with indoor operations permitted until midnight. Fridays and Saturdays, outdoor seating will end at 11 pm, with indoor operations closing at 2 am. Weekend hours would also apply to the eve of holidays and for days when there are citywide sponsored special events. The Board agreed to 120 outdoor seats with a 7-foot open walkway for pedestrians to pass through. In response to concerns about potential loitering after the end of sidewalk seating, the operators agreed to either remove the seats or lock them down so they are not usable after hours. They also proposed double vestibule doors on each end of the market to control sound, with a single set of double doors in the middle. The Planning Board required the middle doors be closed and used only for emergencies whenever there is entertainment going on within the market to prevent the impact of noise on neighbors across the street.
Prior to the hearing, Time Out removed its request for windows that would have opened to the outdoors and eliminated outdoor bussing, also for noise prevention.
The Market will have a liquor license but Entin emphasized it is not the primary source of business and indicated this will be a restaurant not a nightclub. To help ease concerns, Entin said the operators would agree to no live music and no dance floor inside (even though a dance floor is not part of the business model or proposal).
The garage was built in 2012 and the ground floor space has been vacant since.
In other Planning Board action:
Medical Marijuana: The Board approved recommendations for locations where future medical marijuana dispensaries would be allowed but also suggested changes to proposed parking requirements to ensure restrictions do not unintentionally zone out the facilities.
City Commissioners want a total of three operations, one each in South, Middle, and North Beaches. Just getting to a list of potential areas proved challenging in a City that is already built out with many schools, parks, and religious institutions. Planning staff initially tried to create large buffers around each of those uses but found they would essentially end up zoning out medical cannabis, which was not the intent. While suitable locations in South Beach were easier to find, a different methodology which involved removing religious institutions from the calculation was necessary to provide areas within Mid and North Beaches for consideration. (See list of areas proposed for use.)
The major sticking point in the discussion is a parking requirement that representatives of medical marijuana operators said also risks zoning facilities out. Due to a lack of data on these new uses, there is very little information on traffic impact. Planning staff said the limited research done to date indicates these facilities have high usage so they proposed the same parking requirements as super markets have: one on-site space for every 250 feet of operations. Planning Board members agreed that given the current make-up of properties, especially in Middle and North Beaches, meeting that level of parking would be a high bar. The proposed regulations allow for facilities up to 7,500 square feet (with medical marijuana being the only product allowed to be sold).
In making a favorable recommendation to the Commission on the potential locations, the Board suggested the parking requirement be changed to allow parking within 500 feet of a medical marijuana dispensary which could be satisfied through a lease of private spaces or the proximity of a City parking facility.
City Commissioners had placed a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries until regulations could be put in place governing their licensing and operation but declined to extend the moratorium which expires on March 17th. The Planning Board’s action invokes zoning in progress meaning dispensaries may not operate until those regulations are approved by the Commission.
6881 Indian Creek Drive: The Board approved a request to change the zoning on the site from RM-1, Residential Multifamily Low Intensity District to TC-3, North Beach Town Center Residential/Office. The properties immediately to the north of the property have the TC-3 designation and this creates an extension of that District. The TC-3 classification is a low intensity district that allows residential, office and hotel uses.
The property is under contract to a buyer who wants to improve the building, which is licensed to operate as a hotel, by adding a small lobby and small pool but no additional square footage, height or massing. The Planning Board will have to review those proposed changes in the future but, for now, the buyer sought the zoning change.
The Board continued discussion on Sea Level Rise and Resiliency criteria for all City land use boards until the April 25th meeting. While agreeing the intent is good, they cited concerns that some of the terms are vague and said the proposed ordinance could be “tightened up.”
time out market:
planning board approves high-end food hall, also medical marijuana dispensary locations
planning board to consider locations and regulations
temp halt on north beach demolition, detox centers, and floating ads but medical marijuana okay
land use development committee considers location options