Planning Board okays contested banquet hall
After eight months, three hearings, some rather well-attended community meetings and a considerable trail of dead trees, the Planning Board okayed the Point Marina Vista catering and banquet facility in Marina Village.
“We’re doing our best to come up with a compromise up here,” Planning Board member Anne Cook told applicant Charlie Zawde and the neighbors who remained at the tail end of Monday’s three-hour hearing, much of which was spent hammering out the terms of approval for the facility.
The board voted 6-0 to approve the banquet facility (board member Patrick Lynch had to leave the meeting early to return to work).
Neighbors who attended Monday’s meeting said, as they had before, that they were worried about the noise and parking problems they thought the facility could create, as well as the safety and security of the facility and their homes. And they were upset that Zawde and his staff hadn’t made any attempts to talk to them directly about how their concerns would be addressed.
They also asked how they could be expected to trust Zawde after his company did work on the building, which last was home to the Tied House restaurant and brewery, and held at least one event there without the proper city permits (apparently it was an event for the Alameda Hospital Foundation).
Zawde and his staff said they’ve made a considerable effort to address neighbors’ concerns, commissioning two parking studies and a noise assessment and agreeing to a host of concessions, including shorter hours, security and parking attendants. His property manager, Tom Sullivan, said he had also been talking with Legacy Partners about using some of their parking if the facility’s lot fills up (and on a side note, he said Legacy is looking to sell some of its buildings).
Sullivan also questioned why Point Marina Vista was being asked to adhere to conditions that two nearby yacht clubs didn’t.
Nevertheless, they accepted the board’s decision to okay the project with a set of conditions proposed by a neighbor of the project (with some modifications).
Barring complaints – or an appeal to the City Council – the Planning Board will review the project in six months.