We have been encouraged for years by residents of Junius Heights and Munger Place to serve wine with dinner. So, we filed an application for re-zoning and began contacting all of the various neighborhood groups. After several meetings an agreement was reached and documents were prepared that reflected that. They were then presented to the planning and zoning commission. That compromise was reached to address many neighborhood concerns. It was agreed that; the caf� would only serve beer and wine, would close at 10pm, would play no exterior amplified music, and several other restrictions.
At the conclusion of that meeting
the planning and zoning commissioner
for this area, Dr. Bill Peterson,
indicated that he was pleased
that the neighborhood and
the applicant could reach a
compromise and that it should
be presented at the next hearing.
However, prior to the hearing, some of the neighborhood representatives met with the city planners office. Apparently, during the course of that meeting the city advised the neighborhood that it could not enforce one of the provisions of the special use permit, which required us to only have a beer and wine license. The city agreed that it could enforce all of the restrictions except for the stipulation that we would only serve beer and wine. That caused some concern with some of the neighbors.
Several of them showed up at the City Plan Commission hearing and stated that they no longer felt bound to the compromise agreement, because of what the city told them about enforcement. Only a few people showed up to the hearing..it is difficult for most to take a whole afternoon off from work and attend one of these hearings at City Hall. During the hearing Commissioner Bill Peterson announced that he had received 17 emails in favor of the Garden Caf�'s request and 1 opposed. These letters were from what is called the "notice" group that live within 500 feet of the caf�. However, the vote of the plan commission was 7 to 5 against the caf�. The matter now goes to the city council. The city council does not have to take the recommendation of the city plan commission, but it requires a 75% vote of the city council to approve the caf�'s request. This is normally very difficult to attain, but is not impossible.
New Proposed Conditions and Developments
After the City Plan Commission's meeting and vote, we had another conference with the city attorney's office. They have now agreed to add additional language to the proposed special use permit to address some of the neighborhood concerns that the caf� may become a bar or tavern, which has never been our intent. These new conditions require food to be 50% of the gross revenue of the caf�. Most restaurants are only required to have 25% of the gross revenue as food. The 50% requirement, among several other restrictions, will ensure the caf� remains a restaurant, and never a bar or tavern, as feared.
Most importantly, we recently visited with Dr. Bill Peterson, the plan commissioner for this area who voted against our request. He said that if these new provisions had been in the ordinance originally proposed he would have voted in favor!
What Can You Do?
If you have a friend (or a lot of friends) who might be willing to support us, please forward this newsletter and ask them to please write Angela Hunt or their city council member, or the new mayor.
The city council hearing is on September 14th. So time is of the essence! You do not have to live in the city of Dallas to express your support for the caf�. Please send a courtesy copy of your letter to the Garden Caf�.
You may simply say: "We support the Garden Caf�'s request for a beer and wine license with all of the restrictions proposed," along with any other comments you may want to include.
Angela Hunt's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Garden Caf�'s email: email@example.com
If you live outside of Angela Hunt's district 14, you may also want to send an email to your councilmember through their website at http://www.dallascityhall.com/government/government.html
If you'd like to look up what district you live in visit
Thank you for your support!