City Council to review decision to allow late-night music at Barone's Restaurant Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:39 am
The Pleasanton Planning Commission's approval of late-night live music and other entertainment at an outdoor patio at Barone's Restaurant on St. John Street will be considered again tomorrow night by the City Council after an appeal of that decision by Councilman Matt Sullivan.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 31, 2009, 8:02 AM
Posted by Timothy T, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:39 am
People that live downtown need to expect it to be a downtown. It really should be labeled an "Entertainment District."
Live music is a great way to create a real community down there and if you don't allow the people that own businesses downtown to make money, then you'll see even more open rental space than you have right now because people will put their business in Dublin, Livermore, or elsewhere.
Forcing "acoustic" music on weeknights is not the answer. Please let the downtown scene become something lively rather than a bunch of places that are closed by 7pm.
The City Council should not be in the business of restricting business owners from doing what businesses in other cities do in order to help them increase revenue and create something fun.
Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Aug 31, 2009 at 9:51 am
That's right Matt, too much music, food, laughter & fun is a terrible thing to have going on downtown & we must put a stop to this before we all go straight to hell! (where are the Jesus saves/burn in hell people when we need them)
Seriously, this is Barone's we're talking about, not the Pastime Pool Hall & something tells me that the acts that they will be booking to play for their clientele will be of the jazz, lounge lizard & maybe some soft rock. I know there is a definite lack of good quality speed metal downtown but I suppose we'll just have to live with this & settle for some Tony Bennett, Miles Davis & Steely Dan covers. If they start doing Carpenters covers though all hell will break loose.
Just one comment regarding the "neighbors" that will be affected, aren't the closest neighbors to Barone's, the Barone's? You have those new townhome/city homes down on Peters Ave. & 3-4 homes on St. John St. that would be in earshot of the music plus the condos behind them. I agree that six days a week of live music might be a bit much but in this economy & with the downtown area desperately needing an infusion of new life & vitality I'm inclined to vote for music, good food, laughter & fun.
Posted by Noisy Neighbors, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:30 am
It's great to see more activity downtown and live music is terrific. However, it's not a few homes that are within earshot of the music it is hundreds or more. I live in the area near the aquatic center and I can hear the music very clearly. It's not so loud that it bothers me but there are many homes between Barone's and my home and I'm sure it is much louder for them. I'm not saying to shut it down but there are no doubt people with valid complaints about the nightly music. The homeowners were here before the music; they didn't buy their homes and then start complaining. Ridiculing Matt Sullivan or anyone with a concern about the noise is not very productive.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Aug 31, 2009 at 12:01 pm
This is a difficult one to call but I'm sure there is plenty of room for compromise. If I lived in a house near downtown....I would expect noise, music, traffic and the vibrancy and issues that go along with that. It is the downtown area you're buying into when you make the decision to live there. Didn't you move there for the privilege of being downtown - close to everything? Everyone needs to make some compromises to keep the downtown alive. Rents need to more reasonable, prices need to be more reasonable. Variety in types of businesses need to be allowed. How many banks, ice cream and manicure businesses should one street allow!!! "Soft" entertainment/music should be welcomed and embraced . Come on people - a little flexibility here. You made the choice to buy or rent a home in this area - the city didn't make you do it. You knew businesses were there and would change over time. It's not like the city is allowing junk cars, boats or portables to be brought in.....it's a little music. We could all use a little music in our lives during these difficult economic times.
Posted by Jay, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 31, 2009 at 2:30 pm
I live on Railroad Ave and get all the sounds from downtown, the good and the bad. This includes traffic sounds, Race announcers for the Rotary run, trash collection,Amador games and events, parades, early morning deliveries with idling trucks, First Wednesdays, Fridays in the park, Barones current offerings and Blue Agave's weddings and lets not forget the persistent sounds of construction as the new Pleasanton Firehouse Arts Center takes shape. Some of these sounds annoy me while others lure me out to enjoy and uncover their source. They all, in my opinion, come with the territory of living Downtown and should be expected and embraced. Lets make downtown a destination again, noise and all.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 31, 2009 at 3:54 pm
I agree that living downtown brings noise and activities and I am in favor of music -- although NOT overly amplified -- at Barone's. Let me also say that any of you posting in favor of the "live downtown, suck it up" idea better also be dead set against the city paying for "silent crossings" of the trains. That issue is different from music only in that the trains have been here forever and Barone's just got permission for music. Move next to the train tracks, listen to the trains. Fair is fair.
Posted by Chris, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Aug 31, 2009 at 7:23 pm
I think we also need to look at the council member who appealed the Planning Commission decision on this matter. He has shown a long track record of voting against anything that might negatively impact a pocket of neighbors. It is scary to think if past councils all had his belief that it is better to protect the outspoken few then the vast majority which would benefit from a positive decision. Where would we be as a city of planned progress? Not very far with a bunch of Matt Sullivan's.
Posted by Jeffery H, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 6:24 am
I live downtown, and with it comes noise (cars, trains, street fairs, etc). I also feel this city that I love needs to expand their downtown offerings to include something other than antique shops, banks, real estate offices, and a few cute little speciality stores.
Having a few restaurants with live music will not turn Main Street into Burbon Street. I truly feel a few of our City leaders would work well if they ever did a re-make of "Footloose".
Also agree with Uncle Homerr (above) - it's seasonal.
Posted by Confused, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:21 am
Seriously people, why are we wasting our time on live music at Barone's? Are schools are losing money, city roads need repairs, our after school programs and other kids activities are being cut, business are going under left and right and so on and so on. But everyone is wasting their time on having late night music at a restaurant most of us can't even afford to eat at. I have a better idea! Since a night out to dinner for us is at Subway, why don't we all start lobbing for the city to allow live bands at all Subway restaurants in Pleasanton. Who will get behind me on that? That's what I thought! Instead of wasting your time showing up to the meeting tonight why don't you people spend some time with your kids and mow a lawn or two at the school yards. These kids are being forced to play in weeds and tall grass so you can have your freak'n live music at Barones.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:23 am
I fully support a vibrant and active downtown. Barone's request is very reasonable and should be supported. We need to do what's best for the City of Pleasanton, not a handful of nearby residents. One of the consequences of making the decision to move downtown is dealing with normal downtown activity.
Posted by Kim, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:32 am
I don't understand how this can be appoved when the bar/restauranttaht was located in the old train staition (Japanese Restaurant now) was closed down afew years ago. They were not even aloud to have the music playing inside. How can Barone's get away with the music playing on an outside patio? The city of Pleasanton needs to make ALL the rules the same for everyone!
Posted by KC, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:35 am
come on people. a little entertainment to a boring downtown pleasanton. what a fantastic idea by Barone's. i went there on Sat. night with a few friends and it was so classy and a wonderful night out. Thanks for something fun and different to do in pleasanton! we all LOVED it!
Posted by Salsa, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:51 am
A little music, a little wine, a great way to unwind and enjoy an evening with your wife or friends. We live directly behind Barone's and we have always enjoyed the music that blows our way from time to time. If we can't be where the music is we sit in our yard and enjoy a nice glass of wine or a very cold beer and take it all in. We even love the sound of the train that comes by. When we don't want the music we simply come inside and watch tv or read. We have been living in our house for 28 years and have experienced the many vibrant events that take place downtown, Amador High School, Valley Community Church and count it all a blessing. I believe Barone's permit will be conditional and subject to review from time to time to make sure it is still appropriate for music. Let's try it and see if it works for all of us. If not, we can make the neccessary changes.
Posted by Boom Boom, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:53 am
I don't know about what kind of music they play there, I've never been in that restaurant. But if they have that bass line that booms like crazy, and if they have those huge woofers in big cabinets with powerful amplifiers that you can hear half a mile a way, it will create quite a nuisance.
Posted by V. A. "Al" Bronzini, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 9:03 am
I am writing to you in regards to the issue of the use permit for Barone's Restaurant that had been previously approved by the Planning Commissioners and now has been appealed to the City Council.
Barone’s Restaurant and its owner/operator Joe Barone bring all positives to Pleasanton and Downtown in particular.
- It is not only one of the best restaurants in Pleasanton, it is one of the best in the Tri-Valley. Diners drive to Barone’s from surrounding towns and bring their business to Pleasanton.
- Owner/Operator Joe Barone is a Downtown person, living right next door the restaurant and is a big supporter of everything “Pleasanton”
- Barone’s has been a model partner and business owner in our downtown community for many years
- Barone's restaurant and properties are maintained at such a level the reflects well on our community
- Barone's restaurant is one of Downtown’s biggest draws and brings in many people that might not otherwise dine and visit our Downtown
- Additional Downtown patrons will then visit other neighboring businesses and spend their dollars in Pleasanton, therefore generating additional tax revenue for the City
- With re-construction of the Pleasanton Hotel nearing completion Barone's is another bright spot on the north end of Main St.
- There are many businesses owners and property owners that are not willing to invest and/or re-invent their businesses in order to make them more successful. Instead they would prefer to just sit back and complain about how lousy the economy is rather than do something about it.
This application had previously been approved by the Planning Commission. Please do not let the voices of a few harm what is good for business in Pleasanton. Barone's deserves the opportunity to be as successful as they can be. Barone’s success will not only benefit Downtown but all of Pleasanton.
Posted by Andrew shaper, a long time resident, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 9:34 am
I am impressed by the Chamber of Commerce’s ability to mobilize its members for a showy turnout at the Planning Commission, and probably the City Council, meetings to further the objectives of one of its own. However, neither this ability, nor the short term economic downturn, makes the best basis for city use planning and the making of long term public policy.
The Downtown neighborhood has a substantial history of mixed commercial and residential use evidenced by the presence of numerous historical homes and commercial structures over 100 years old. Our immediate neighbors have resided on their property for five generations so far. The current City Master Plan includes substantial high density residential, as well as the commercial core, in the downtown area. It is in the long term interest of the neighborhood for all users to respect the rights and needs of each other.
I recognize the need for a commercially successful downtown includes the success of its many restaurants. The restaurants were initially permitted as establishments to provide food and drink, not necessarily nightlife and amplified outdoor entertainment. Many restaurants in the Downtown seem to have good businesses without requiring outdoor entertainment with amplified music at all. Indoor music, or unamplified outdoor music, also provides opportunities for restaurants to enhance their offerings with minimal impact on other uses of the neighborhood. I believe, however, that in consideration of all the historical, current and planned uses of downtown that amplified outdoor entertainment requires judicious use and regulation.
Specifically, I believe amplified outdoor music should be curtailed by 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Amplified indoor entertainment, which complies with the city’s sound ordinance, and unamplified outdoor entertainment, should be allowed to permitted business hours. I believe that this would support commercial success for the restaurants, as well as reasonable living conditions for the residents, of Downtown.
Posted by common sense, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm
The basic question is can these permits be limited to one establishment, do the Farmers restaurant at the Pleasanton hotel, the Main St Brewery and any other restaurant get similar rights. How does this impact the Rose Hotel, do they have sound proof windows? Will Pleasanton have to establish a Decibel Level Department? lol
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 7:40 am
Just another expample of the Mayor, Jerry & Cheryl siding with the PDA and Chamber. Looks like their election dollars were well spent-again.
Sorry folks, the neighbors moved in next to a restaurant not a concert hall. They expect traffic and restaurant noise, not amplified music and alcohol served from 6am to 1am. Their location is not Main Street, it is adjacent to many residential homes & families who deserve quiet at night.
If the Barone's want to provide concerts they should spend the money expand their building and put it inside. They have already overflowed on both sides of their restaurant and tented the large side patio.
Spend the money and do it right, don't create loud noise for your neighbors throughout the week + weekends.
Posted by Sold Down The River, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 8:44 am
What we saw last night was another demonstration that business and development interests control this town. The Council majority serves at the pleasure of the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Association, and the development community. It’s the same model employed by politicians at the state and national level, and by means of obscene levels of campaign contributions and campaign strategies provided by the political parties, they owe their political careers to these special interests.
If the citizens of Pleasanton think they have representation at City Hall, think again. We have been sold down the river by Hosterman, Cook-Kallio, and Thorne. The only question that remains is whether we will accept it.
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Foothill Knolls neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:49 am
The Council Majority supported a UNANIMOUS decision by the Planning Committee. This was absolutely the right thing to do. The appeal was a waste of time. Neither neighbors nor Barone's appealed the compromise forged by the Committee. Sullivan had no dog in this fight and should have let it go instead of wasting countless city hours.
Posted by curious, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 10:22 am
Sorry Karen, but the neighbors moved next to another residence that happens to be where the Barone's live with their two children not next to a restaurant. They will be more impacted by the music then the neighbors will be.
It appears pretty clear that Sullivan is considering a run for Mayor and trying to create issues that he can run on. The Barone's will have to adhere to the noise ordinance. Let's give them a chance to do that. If there are problems, the police are only going to put up with so many calls and then the conditional use permit will be subject to review/revocation by the Planning Commission. That's why its a conditional use permit. Its time to move on and find another issue to complain about such as what's going to happen if the housing cap is invalidated by the courts.
Posted by Sue, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 10:36 am
The Planning Committee does not make wise decisions.
I believe the downtown residents should get together and recall the 3 members of the City Council, who have allowed salaries of city employees to escalate to outlandish proportions in the city.
Also, everyone who is disappointed in the crazy PDA and Chamber of Commerce tactics of filling council chambers for all of these controversies should simply go on the PDA website or the Chamber of Commerce website and boycott shopping at all of their businesses. Let them know that you will not be their customers any longer.
Then shop in Livermore and Dublin and San Ramon and Danville.
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 11:09 am PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"...allowing the Barone's to serve food and alcohol from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily with live outdoor entertainment permitted through 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and through 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday."
Is this supposed to say 6 p.m. to 1 a.m? Who in their right mind would even go to Barone's at 6 a.m? And one more question, for people who are against this, why haven't you voiced your concerns over the music from Main Street Brewery, or the Farmer (old Pleasanton Hotel restaurant)? Those two restaurants are all of a couple hundred feet from Barone's and both play music. Plus, take a deep hard look and make the realization that there most likely will never be heavy metal bands playing. Someone also stated that "it is adjacent to many residential homes & families who deserve quiet at night." Last time I checked there were a small handful of homes that are very close to the restaurant, and about four of them are up for rent (the Kimberly Commons homes that are supposedly going for $4200 a month in rent). The other homes are down the street, just like many homes are down the street from the high schools that also play music or have announcements from sports games.
Posted by huh, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm
Great, boycott the businesses so then we have emptystore fronts and less tax revenue to provide all the city services we've become acustom to. That will really help property values--makes total sense!!
By the way, I believe downtown businesses are required to be a part of the PDA.
Posted by Pat, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 2:07 pm
"huh" must be a city employee, perhaps one of those making extremely high salaries at public expense.
I don't know what all these great city services are. We have no working plan to revitalize downtown like Livermore has been able to in order to attract customers, we have lousy water that tastes awful and leaves white residue on glasses when you wash them, we give our tax money to pay for schools that we are told will be built that never are built, and have probably the most blatantly two-faced politicians ever and I mean ever that occupy three seats in the city council.
I am all for empty storefronts and less tax revenue because in a free market, businesses that can't attract a loyal following fail and they should be allowed to fail.
Why should we have drinking establishments allowed to serve alcohol at dawn (and it is indeed 6 AM)? I'm sure this will attract a stellar bunch of folks to downtown at that hour.
Posted by The Joshua Neal Experience, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm
Way to go Joe & Maricela! As a longtime Barone’s fan & supporter I’m happy for you both & this win over the NFAIMBY I(No Fun Allowed In My Back Yard) alliance.
With the economy running the way it’s been we have been less a fixture in your lovely establishment & the prospect of finishing out the summer & some fall nights enjoying some nice jazz or good thrash metal (just kidding;) & a bottle of wine sure sounds appealing to me. You know I bet if even the likes of Kim, Karen, Sue, Pat & good old Boom Boom were to stop by & just try to enjoy themselves for a while they too would see that this is a win-win proposal for all of Downtown Pleasanton.
By the way, all you NFAIMBY’s out there…remember, it’s the last 1st Wednesday tonight so you better lock your doors, shut your windows & shelter in place until the rest of us heathens, malcontents & rabble rousers finally head home tonight. Yes, apparently the Jesus saves/burn in hell people were right, we are all going to hell for eating kettle corn, Thai BBQ chicken & making merry on the streets.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I don't get it. First you advocate for a free market approach in allowing business downtown to fail then you advocate for using the power of government to restrict what kind of business can take place and what hours they can operate. Which is it?
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2009 at 9:06 am
For the record - Yes, the Barone's got a use permit for 6am alcohol & music. Why?! They said someone might want to celebrate a 40th birthday party or sunrise wedding. Ridiculous!
Do the downtown business like DOG stuff stores really think they are going to get business from this? When Livermore and Dublin partiers come to downtown to drink, they are not coming for chocolate or dog food treats.
I still say, drive them indoors. Spend the money and enclose the building.
Oh and the biggest joke was a flat sound wall that is supposed to reduce the sound. Sound travels in ALL directions A flat sound wall is just not good science.
Last night was PDA's First Wednesday - a great success. Music on Main street, shops are open, it is day light and people are out ALL over the downtown, it is ONE night a month and the event shuts down at 9pm! The event is from 6 to 9pm and it is in our ALL business area of Main Street (no personal residence at all). Now that makes sense!
Posted by Jeffery H, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Dear Susan, Congrats on your wedding. I do though doubt very seriously that the location of both venues will be an issue. Hotels, resorts, often have numerous weddings and bands at the same time. You'll probably hear more car and motorcyle noise from Main Street.
Dear Matt, Just checked the Metallica website. Barone's isn't one of their tour stops.
Let it go people - don't turn the Downtown area into a movie set. It has/should be alive with sights and sounds!
Posted by Nicole, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Wow, so many angry people posting here. Barone's wants to have the flexibility to open at 6am for corporate events, weddings and showers. Patrons wouldn't arrive until 7:30 or 8am, but the restaurant has to bring staff in to prepare much earlier. Matt Sullivan shouldn't appeal a decision. Allow the residents to appeal. His appeal showed a lack of respect for the Planning Commision, city staff and the residents who attended the PC meeting.
Businesses in downtown are required to be members of the PDA. Don't punish businesses because they have chosen to be located in the downtown area. I think the same person said that we should avoid all downtown businesses to punish the PDA also wrote that they enjoyed the First Wednesday Street Party. You can't have these activities without the PDA!
Posted by Downtown A, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm
I was at both meetings, the Planning Commission one and the City Council, and I was there because I, as a resident of the downtown area, wanted to be there, and not because the Chamber of Commerce or the PDA "mobilized" me to attend. I found Mr. Sullivan's comments -- that those opposed to the Barones' application were sincere and concerned and suffering --- and, by implication, that the rest of the audience somewhow was made up of mindless dupes of the business establishment --- offensive, insulting, and ill-conceived. Perhaps the majority of people present simply disagreed with Mr. Sullivan and the Churkas? Perhaps we were there because we had honest and reasonable but opposing opinions? A little more respect from the Councilman for those who had a different viewpoint than he did would have been nice.
Posted by fact checker, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm
Barone's came in with an amendment to try and calm the noise. They suggested and the majority of the council agreed, that they would install a sound wall that absorbs noise. They did not have to do that at their own expense but came in with something proactive. They do not have plans to have music six nights a week but want the flexibility. And a former poster is correct. If the Barone's abuse the CUP it is back to the council!
Posted by Laura, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:33 pm
Considering that the city has allowed last minute internet-advertised events with hundreds of people arriving from the bay area to hold raves with music blaring at the corner of Valley Trails and Hopyard (masonic lodge) in a residential neighborhood for several years, including incidents with shots fired from guns, I wouldn't hold your breath that the city will do anything to stop or curtail public nuisance. When has the city council ever revoked anyone's permit to operate? Never.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm
Laura, to your point, with the love fest going on between the 3 council members, the PDA and the Chamber - Barones is safe. No one is going to stop them at all with a 3 council majority controlling any limits on downtown businesses.
To Nicole, the council approved dispensing alcohol at 6am, not setting up tables and glassware.
Over and over Cindy McGovern asked for some limits or restrictions and the 3 "yes men" council members said, "no". No because they know whose money put them in office and they continue to pay them back with their "gratitude."
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:26 am
The previous poster is absolutely correct. It is offensive to call people yes men or accuse them of being only pro business and pro chamber of commerce when they disagree with others. In this case, very few. All people are represented by the council, including people who own businesses in town. I am not a business owner.
I live near Barone's and I am fine with the decision of both the planning commission and the council.
Barone's came in with a reasonable solution to help the noise issue at their own expense.
I don't think people are dumb or bought off when I disagree with them. I just think they have a different perspective.
Posted by Different Perspective?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:50 am
These people have no point of view. The Council Majority does exactly what the Chamber, PDA, Developers, etc. tell them what to do. Take a look at their voting records - Oak Grove, Staples Ranch, Home Depot, Ponderosa, Stoneridge Extension, ad nauseum. It's not a "difference of opinion". It's a sell out.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 9:04 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Because the Stoneridge extension, which has been in the General Plan for decades, has absolutely nothing to do with relieving traffic for the benefit of the private citizen and everything to do with an evil cadre of local business intent on destroying Pleasanton. </sarcasm>
Posted by Bonnie, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm
I watched online the portion of last week's council meeting re: Barones. To suggest that Joe and Maricela care only about money is short sighted at best. After all, their children are also sleeping in the downtown neighborhood. Barones, like the city groups who support them, understand the need for vitality in an area that is primarily business. While I am sypathetic to those who voiced concern with the C.U.P., it's pretty clear there are no plans for early morning or daily events. And while a very small number of those residents may have been here since before the revitalization of our downtown, most residents were drawn to town just for our vitality. The opinions voiced in opposition were not well organized or cohesive at council while those in favor showed a greater understanding of the issue and a better ability to communicate that knowledge. And shame on Diane Churka for her pointed, personal comment about the Barones' child. A new low, for sure. Judy, the owner of Towne Center Books was correct when she noted that anything to bring people into downtown is good for the entire area. We live close enough to walk to downtown, but far enough away to just enjoy the "background music" of the fair, Barones, Concert in the Park, etc. This was not an accident, it was a choice. Council and Planning and staff did the right thing on this one, and Joe & Mari will continue to try and be good neighbors while the rest of us benefit from their risk.