Architectural renderings of the east front and south side of the four businesses at 2013 to 2019 S. Brentwood Blvd.

Architectural renderings of the east front (above) and south side of the four businesses at 2533 to 2539 S. Brentwood Blvd.

But some residents want dumpster area fenced

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

The Brentwood Board of Aldermen on Monday approved a site plan for construction of a new façade and other improvements to the building on Brentwood Boulevard that contains the Pasta House Pronto, Clockmasters and two other businesses.

For about 35 minutes the board debated whether to require the owners to erect a wooden fence to shield residents who live behind the site from dumpsters in the rear parking lot. After city officials assured that the site plan adhered to all zoning laws, the board approved it by a vote of 7-1, with David Plufka dissenting. The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission had approved it unanimously.

The rear of the property has a wooden fence along the western edge of the Pasta House Pronto's parking lot.

The rear of the property has a wooden fence along the western edge of the Pasta House Pronto’s parking lot.

Some residents on Madge Avenue would like a wooden fence to replace the chain-link one behind the building that houses the Pasta House Pronto and Clockmaster.

Some residents who live behind the property would like a wooden fence to replace the chain-link fence behind the building.

A deciding factor in the debate was that the rear, west side, of the commercial property abuts a vacant lot that is zoned for planned development. If it were zoned for residential, a privacy fence would have been required.

“So by the strict adherence to your code, it wouldn’t require screening because it doesn’t abut residential property or property being used for residential purposes,” said the city’s planning consultant,Todd Streiler.

Todd Streiler is. (This and all photos below by Steve Bowman)

Todd Streiler is a planning consultant for Brentwood while the director of planning and development position is vacant. (This and all photos below by Steve Bowman)

Alderman Andy Leahy was not convinced, saying, “I believe you’ll find that when we review the code it is a requirement that the trash containers be enclosed, and thus when he sends his inspectors out and they find that, it may have been an overlooked issue.”

Leahy proposed amending the bill to require the owners, by the end of the year, “to make improvements to the dumpster area to bring things up to code.” Mayor Chris Thornton said the motion was out of order because of Streiler’s assurance that “they are in complete compliance.” Leahy eventually withdrew his motion.

Alderman Andy Leahy.

Alderman Andy Leahy.

Mayor Chris Thornton.

Mayor Chris Thornton.

Concerned Madge Avenue residents

In the public hearing portion of Monday’s board meeting, before the bill was discussed, resident Louise Charboneau asked for a wooden stockade fence to be erected to shield residents from the rear of the property. She read a letter written to the board by fellow Madge Avenue resident Faith Beckerman, who lives several houses behind the businesses. “I see the back of this building and the fencing every time I park my car, every day when I take the dog out,” wrote Beckerman. “It takes away from my enjoyment of my own yard.”

Charboneau added, “Well it doesn’t really matter that the adjacent property is vacant when this lady who lives five houses away still has a view.”

Resident Louise Charboneau speaks during the public hearing portion of the March 7 Board of Aldermen meeting.

Resident Louise Charboneau speaks during the public hearing portion of the March 7 Board of Aldermen meeting.

Plufka’s request

Later in the meeting, when the bill was discussed, Alderman Plufka told property co-owner Robert Hagen, “I agree with Ms. Charboneau’s concerns … and I would ask you to consider … that you extend the privacy fencing that you’ve already installed to include the entire western border of that property.”

Hagen replied, “In light of the fact that my partner and I closed on this back in September 2015, and part of our due diligence process was basically finding out what violations we had from the city … fencing was never brought up.”

Alderman David Plufka questions property owner Hagen.

Alderman David Plufka questions property co-owner Robert Hagen.

Hagen added, “Bear in mind that … we’re spending a lot of money to renovate this building, I think the back of the building will look good. … In terms of a fence, I think it’s an additional cost that we don’t need to bear right now. I don’t see that being a necessary thing.”

Hagen said extending the wooden fence across the back of the property would cost “Probably another $4,000.”

Robert Hagen is co-owner of the property on Brentwood Blvd.

Robert Hagen of Hagen Properties owns the building that includes Pasta House Pronto in Brentwood.

Toohey asked, “All these concerns that are being brought up — the chain-link fence, the dumpster — those are already present, correct?” Streiler replied, “Yes.” Toohey continued, “So this is an improvement and if we turn it down, those problems are already present minus the improvements he [Hagen] is bringing forth. So I’m failing to see the logic why we would push this on a business owner that wants to improve the lot.”

Alderman Patrick Toohey.

Alderman Patrick Toohey.

The site, from 2533 to 2539 S. Brentwood Blvd., has room for two additional businesses. The space where Back On the Rack was located is empty. The one where Option B Designery was will be leased by State Farm Insurance agent Pam Thornton.