Perrysburg residents will have another chance to speak up about whether the outdoor patio at the new 5th Street Pub restaurant will reopen.
City council's planning and zoning committee members said during their meeting Wednesday night that they planned to recommend overturning the ban on the restaurant and bar's patio. A second hearing is scheduled for July 9.
5th Street Pub, 105 W. 5th St., was denied use of its patio because of noise complaints. The restaurant opened March 4, and the patio was open for about three weeks before it was ordered closed by the Perrysburg Planning Commission.
Business owner Jeff Kies attended the meeting to appeal the ban. He presented several ideas for allowing the patio to reopen, including restricting patio hours and limiting the number of people. The restaurant is now open until midnight Mondays through Wednesdays, 1 a.m. on Thursdays and 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
When Mr. Kies turned in a petition with about 300 signatures in support of his appeal, Tonya Motter, who lives next door to the restaurant, claimed that the public really doesn't know how those signatures were collected.
“It could be someone using a Groupon from the East Side,” she said, stating that she heard 5th Street Pub employees approached customers inside the restaurant, asking them to sign the petitions.
Ms. Motter's husband, Josh Alkire, said he is focused on finding peace.
“I just want it to be quiet. I just want the patio to be quiet,” he said.
He also said he can hear the conversations of patrons through the wall of his 9-year-old son's bedroom, and has recorded some of it. He said he hopes to be able to show a short video to council members.
Councilman Joseph Lawless agreed that the city code needs to be amended.
Currently, council must approve special use permits for such businesses that include hour restrictions and keeping noise radiating from an outdoor cafe under 50 decibels, which officials described as a normal conversation between two people, between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight.
“We definitely have a flaw with our ordinance,” he said. “None of us want businesses to fail. This was really just a very unusual circumstance, something that never should have happened, and it did."
Anneliese's restaurant, which previously occupied the space, also had outdoor dining.
About 35 people attended the meeting to give their feedback, and not all of it was against usage of the patio.
Many visitors were worried about how Perrysburg might be perceived in the business community if the ban is upheld.
“I would like to see businesses flourish in Perrysburg. I like dining alfresco,” said Ronald Parry of Perrysburg.
He said the noise generated by the patio atmosphere is similar to that of music played at the weekly town farmer's market and also can be compared to trains going through the area.
Councilman Timothy McCarthy said he plans to recommend overturning the ban to his fellow council members, if Mr. Kies agreed to a few stipulations, including that patio hours ended at 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Those hours would be amended further when school is in session, he suggested. He said Mr. Kies also would have to agree to reduce the number of seats on the patio, from 49 seats to 24.
“I'm very sympathetic to the people in the neighborhood. I really like the compromise. I think it's certainly worth trying,” Mr. Lawless said.
Mr. Kies also said he understood the complaints of neighboring residents and hoped to work to help solve some of the problems.
“I think that this is an extremely good place for us to have a compromise,” Mr. Kies said. “Perrysburg's growing. This is what's going to happen.”
A second public hearing will be held July 9, in city offices, 201 W. Indiana Ave. in Perrysburg. The hearing will start at 6 p.m., followed by a city council meeting where the issue is expected to be on the agenda, at 6:30 p.m.
Contact Kelly McLendon at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6522, or on Twitter @KMcBlade.