Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Patio's Hours - update #1

Thanks to the persistence of August, a Burger-Fries-Root Beer regular who smokes those nice smelling clove cigarettes, I just now called Chris Worthington, the Berkeley City Councilman who runs the neighborhood where The Patio is, and explained our story.

He said he thought the city could handle 10:00pm extensions to hours without the fuss and bother of a public hearing, and I mentioned that after being told the same by Sr. Planner Greg, a Ms. Sanderson called to tell me he was wrong and that the Beer and Wine license required a public hearing, no matter what time the extension sought.

Chris Worthington said he wanted to speak to the city lawyers about whether there were any loopholes through which The Patio could pass, and would call me back “in a few days” and let me know what he learned. One thing I learned is that I should have called Chris Worthington months ago. He seems like the sort of man you can deal with, and he’s far from the stereotypical officious bureaucrat; he answered his own phone when I called.

Here’s another thing I learned. Chris Worthington, this past Wednesday, put before the Council a proposal to amend the zoning rules such that businesses in the Telegraph neighborhood could all stay open until midnight without seeking any specific permission to do so. In other words, all Use Permits, once the law is written and enacted, will be automatically adjusted to midnight for all businesses. Any later than midnight requests, I assume, will be under similar terms as exist today – approval will be required. I do not know whether stores currently allowed to remain open later than midnight will have to adjust their hours of operation to midnight, but of the rest I am sure. His proposal won in a 6-3 vote, so the change is probably going to become law before Spring, 2007.

The important question for The Patio is whether we can last until the law is enacted, which may be six months away. The answer is absolutely “no” if we cannot get the incremental adjustment until 10:00pm, and only “maybe” if we can. In any case, a failure to garner 10:00pm hours within a month means no more Patio, and that will make me sad. Vote for Chris Worthington no matter what happens to The Patio!



At Tue Oct 17, 07:33:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Usha said...

I would vote for Chris Worthington....he seems a reasonable man! Alas, I am not a constituent. However, sending positive energy his way....fortunately energy has no political or other boundaries, and will work regardless..
Please keep us posted.

It is better to have tried...fought...endeavored..loved...and lost...than never to have made the effort ( cliched but true)....and all above applies to the energy and investment,( emotional, financial and everything else )that went into setting up and building up The Patio.
Here's hoping for the best.


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