After hearing both sides in a dispute over whether enclosing the front landing of The Coffee House at 156 SW Bay Boulevard should cost owner Judy Lingham $9,000 just for a city permit, the council punted on a decision until they can further study the particulars of the case.
Lingham asked the city for a permit to enclose it’s front porch, which is an outdoor type dining veranda that opens out onto the Bayfront. City Community Development Director Derrick Tokos determined that because the veranda was going to be enclosed, it triggered a systems developmet charge because more people could be served at the restaurant – more people putting a “use load” on local streets and contributing to the number of people milling about the Bayfront, people who may need fire, paramedic or police services not to mention greater use of city utilities like sewer, water and other elements of urban amenities provided by the city.
Total cost of the sdc and permit; $9,000, about a third of the cost of the entire improvement to the restaurant.
Lingham’s attorney, Dennis Bartoldus, said the issues comes down to the word “enclosed” in the city ordinance. He said Tokos interprets the city code different that what he and his client interpret it to be. Tokos, he said, focuses on the fact the veranda is being enclosed, complete with a roof. However, Bartoldus went on to show that the outdoor eating area at Nana’s Irish Pub in Nye Beach was not required to pay additional system development charges because the expansion did not include a roof – only a small brick fence-type structure around it and lots of flowers. Bartoldus argued that Nana’s enjoyed expanded restaurant service area while not paying a dime more for system development charges. Whereas his client is simply covering an outdoor area with a roof for expanded service area and she’s got to come up with $9,000. That, said Bartoldus, sends a chilling message to any business that wants to expand it’s floor space or even create a business in Newport.
But Tokos argued that a roof over an expanded roof area shows a permanent expanded use of the restaurant and therefore the owner should pay the fees to meet visitor needs, that the city pays for, associated with being in Newport.
This semantical parting of the ways over what is an enclosure made the council back off from making a decision – instead holding it over until the next city council meeting to make a ruling over whether the sdc’s should be paid, or not.