Written by Gloria Tierney
Coronado City Council voted Tuesday to extend the temporary encroachment permits that it issued to four restaurants in the 100 block of Orange until it completes its Downtown Enhancement Phase IV (DTEP).
The permits allow Sapori, Saiko Sushi, Nicky Rottens and the Firehouse property to offer outdoor dining. The permits were original issued on a temporary basis to “give the public an opportunity to physically see the improvements and to experience the impacts, if any, on pedestrians.”
In the past the city reviewed the permits on an annual bases. Restaurant owners, and some of their customers objected. “It’s an unnecessary burden on the council and the owners,” said Anthony Pascale of Saiko Sushi.
Councilwomen Barbara Denny called the vote a “no brainer,” as long as the owners comply with the conditions.
The city attached a conditional use permit to the encroachment permits that established conditions, such as location of televisions, the restaurants had to meet in order to keep the encroachment permit.
Denny quizzed City Manager Blare King to make sure none of the original conditions had been changed. He assured her that only two had. Nicky Rottens was no longer required to post a security guard at the door, because other restaurants on the block weren’t required to have one. And the smoking ban was removed, because smoking is not longer permitted on sidewalks in the business district.
The Firehouse has closed, but Nicky Rottens owner, announced at the meeting that he had purchased the business and would soon open a Benihana-style Japanese steakhouse. He planned to turn patio into a waiting area.
Unlike in past years, when angry residents lined up to oppose the encroachment permits, for Nicky Rottens and the Firehouse in particular, people seemed to support keeping the outdoor dinning.
“We want to tell you how much we have enjoyed the opportunity to sit on the patio of the various restaurants and have lunch or dinner and watch the world go by,” Point residents Jerry and Joey Winter wrote.
Two people did send e-mails to the city council opposing the extension.
And Rita Sarich of MainStreet, while supporting the council’s decision, reiterated her organization’s view that “permits should be consistent across throughout the commercial district.”
This is not the case. Only restaurant on the 100 block of Orange are allowed to sit customers more than five feet from their store font. “We prefer a more consistent approach,” she said.