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City Council Minutes

September 20, 1999

September 20, 1999

The City Council met in a work session at 7:30 p.m. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were: Commissioners Watkins, Saunders, and Vickers.


City Attorney Collison advised that this public hearing is for a special use permit application by Ted Bramble and Robin Linthicum, trading as The Seafood Shack at 315 Sunburst Highway. Since the restaurant will have less than 100 seats "that triggers the requirement for the special use permit application."

Mr. Pritchett, Director of Public Works, advised that the ad was placed in the paper notifying the public on September 3rd and September 10th, 1999. On September 7th the area property owners were notified and the property was posted on September 8th. The property is zoned C-2 (general commercial) and is the appropriate zoning for the request.

Mr. Theodore Bramble came to the podium and advised that the license would be in his daughter Robin Linthincum's name since he already has a license in his name. He advised that this is a family restaurant with no sitting bar and he plans to serve just beer and wine..."I don't want hard liquor."

He doesn't foresee any problems because the previous owners at this location (Pizza Hut) always had a beer license. There are other beer licenses in the area and no one from the church across the street has come to complain. Mr. Bramble further mentioned that someone told him today that the church had closed.

He is applying for the special use permit so that people could have a drink with their meal..."you cannot sit and drink in my restaurant after you've had your meal. You're allowed one drink after mealtime and that's it."

Commissioner Saunders asked what the seating capacity is at the restaurant and Mr. Bramble responded "60." Mr. Collison then confirmed with Mr. Bramble that all the alcohol sales would be for on-premises consumption.

Mr. Pritchett was asked by Commissioner Saunders to verify if the church was closed (the property is owned by Mr. Todd who also owns ocean odyssey). It was also noted by Mr. Pritchett that no feedback was received from the notices that were sent out to the adjoining property owners.

Commissioner Vickers stated that at some point, "we're going to have to look at what constitutes a church because just renting a building and having services, don't necessarily, in my opinion, make it a church."

Commissioner Saunders said that she wants to make sure when she votes if the church is closed because the City has not identified what constitutes a church.

Mr. Bramble then mentioned that the public hearing notice was advertised at "The Seafood Shack" but the business is going to be called "Town and Country".

Mr. Gage Thomas came forward to speak in favor of the special use permit and he feels it should be approved whether the church is open or closed.

Mr. Tony Thomas said he was also in favor of it and he feels, when a church is involved, if alcohol can't be served within 500 feet of a church, a church should not be opened within 500 feet of a restaurant/business selling alcohol.

Commissioner Saunders stated that she agrees with Commissioner Vickers and it needs to be established as to what constitutes a church.

Mr. Lee Weldon stated he was also in favor. Mr. Bramble's past establishments have been good quality "and I think he does strive for a family environment."

In response to Mr. Collison's question, Mr. Pritchett advised that the Planning and Zoning Commission did recommend in favor.

Mr. Collison advised Council to have D.P.W. to inquiry as to the existence or operation of a church within 500 feet. If information is received that the church is operating, this information needs to be provided to Mr. Bramble for an opportunity to rebut it before Council makes their decision. Commissioner Saunders moved to accept Mr. Collison's suggestion; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then moved to close the public hearing; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

On another note, Commissioner Saunders commented publicly that on Saturday, the Mayor and the Fourth Ward Commissioner were out of town and 23 families were out of water due to negligence by the landlord for over 4 hours. She contacted M.U.C. and the Police Department and they did an excellent job in getting the situation fixed.

There was another problem with trash in the Second Ward which she investigated and in working with the neighbors, they were able to get the garbage moved back behind a cement enclosure, "so Saturday was a good adventure day for the City."

With no further comments, meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council work session of Monday, September 20, 1999 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk-Treasurer