Some fear parking problems after the site is developed.
The City Commission will decide if Land Development Code requirements for walls and landscaping can be changed for a planned gift shop that will replace the old Julian’s Dining Room and Lounge at 88 S. Atlantic Ave. The first reading will be August 20 and second reading will be Sept. 10.
The Planning Board voted at their July 11 meeting to not recommend the changes requested by the owner, Pinchas “Pinny” Mamane, who plans to build an Ocean Club. He seeks to reduce the required buffer between commercial and residential from 30 to 15 feet at the property, and remove the requirement for a wall.
The former Julian’s would be demolished. Currently, there is no buffer and no wall between Julian’s and Florence Street to the west. Constructed in 1967, the building is non-conforming to the Land Development Code.
One resident came forward to say a wall and buffer are needed.
“I like to sit and drink coffee on my porch,” he said. “I don’t want to see cars pulling in.”
The other residential properties along Florence Street are owned by Mamane.
John Adams, president of Adams Cameron Realty, located next door, had expressed concerns at the neighborhood meeting about losing a longstanding parking arrangement he had with the former owner of Julian’s. He said he has since discussed the issue with Mamane, who agreed to share parking.
However, Adams said other businesses have used the Julian’s lot because of a parking shortage in the area. He suggested the city look at adding parking, such as along Florence Street.
“If we don’t find answers to parking, businesses will fail,” he said.
Planning Director Steven Spraker said there is an opportunity for shared parking in the area, as well as parking along Coquina Court and Vining Court.
“There’s parking on the streets,” he said. “It’s just not as close as Julian’s.”
Joe Hopkins, representative for Mamane, said the 15-foot landscaping would be higher than ground level and also very dense.
G.G. Galloway recused himself from the voting because he had represented previous owners of the property as a Realtor, and Harold Briley, also a Realtor, recused himself because of a working relationship with Adams Cameron.
The other five Planning Board members unanimously rejected the request for no wall and reduced landscaping.
“I would never want to consider smaller landscaping,” said board member Lori Tolland.
Board Chairman Doug Thomas said he would not vote in favor of removing a wall requirement He said he remembers when the Planning Board fought to have a wall requirement between residential and commercial.
Al Jorczak said in the discussion that he had no problem with smaller landscaping but would need a wall, but he voted to approve the motion when made by Tolland.