Three local entrepreneurs want to open small coffee shop in Rochester. But parking rules may prevent that from happening. John Ebel, Marc Lebeau (co-owners of Smokestack Cowork) and Brandon Rizzo plan to open Pour Coffee Parlor at 23 Somerton Street in the Park Ave / East Ave area, but the City of Rochester contends that there is not enough parking at the location for the City to grant proper zoning to open. The location has 4 parking spots, and the partners have leased 6 more spots from a neighboring business to reach the quota, but that may not be enough…
So the partners plan to make an appeal to the Zoning Board, Thursday March 13th. John Ebel says the goal of their appeal is “to justify to the city that Park Ave is a walking/biking neighborhood and that many of our customers will walk, take the bus and ride their bikes to our shop.” According to Walk Score the proposed location is “very walkable”, bikeable, and offers transit options—in fact there are transit stops every couple hundred feet in the area—placing the proposed coffee shop in one of the least car-dependent areas in the city. The partners also plan to install a bike rack to encourage patrons to arrive by pedal.
Please join us on Thursday morning at City Hall (particularly if you live in the Park Ave / East Ave neighborhood) and show your support for independent, forward-thinking businesses, walkable neighborhoods, and Pour Coffee Parlor. John, Marc and Brandon will have 10 minutes to present their case to the Zoning Board, and then anyone who wishes to speak in favor or opposed will have three minutes to speak. The meeting is open to the public.
If you’d like to provide input, please attend the zoning board meeting tomorrow morning:
Thursday, March 12 2014 at 9:15am
30 Church St, Rochester, NY 14614
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS – ROOM 302A
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Members of the public who are unable to attend the meeting but would like to submit comments may send them to Jill Symonds SymondsJ@CityofRochester.gov with the Subject Line: “V-056-13-14 (23 Somerton St),” before tomorrow morning.
If you’d like to learn more, feel free to email John Ebel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good news! The Zoning Board has approved the variance for Pour Coffee Parlor to open. Looks like the magic number is TEN parking spaces for coffee drinking. Thank you to everyone who wrote emails, called, and attended the meeting.