By Ariella Monti, The Raleigh Public Record, Reprinted With Permission By The Raleigh Telegram
RALEIGH – Earlier this month, the Raleigh Planning Commission approved a site plan for a new downtown Carolina Ale House, which will be built on the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Tucker Street.
A 37,000-square-foot building will be constructed on a quarter-acre lot in the heart of Glenwood South’s entertainment district. The office building on the parcel will be demolished.
While the main building will be about 54 feet in height, a proposed tower will overlook the district at a height of 80 feet, meeting all of the maximum height restrictions.
The building will also include an overlook deck, but no seating, and food service or bar service would be provided. There will also be a parking deck next door.
One cause for discussion was staff’s request to include benches along a retaining wall that runs along the sidewalk on Glenwood Avenue. The city code requires the sidewalk be 14 feet wide, but the retaining wall decreases this width by 18 inches.
City planning staff recommended requiring some kind of seating structure along the retaining wall as a compromise to the space that would be lost.
Representatives from Carolina Ale House, however, opposed the use of benches or other seating structures, citing concerns that the benches would encourage homeless people to sleep next to an area that would eventually be used for outdoor seating.
The commission eventually voted against staff’s recommendation and the only benches that will be required will be one at a bus stop.
Resident Lee Levinson, who lives at 510 Glenwood Ave. and was representing the condominium’s board of directors, expressed concerns about the parking and the exhaust from the kitchen, but the biggest issue was the noise that would be generated by the restaurant.
Along with the observation deck, which may attract visitors, the restaurant will have outdoor seating on the second floor. Carolina Ale House Representatives said they intend on applying for an amplified music permit that would allow outdoor music. While much of the outdoor seating would be covered by a roof, directing the music and general conversation downward toward the street, part of the seating area is under a retractable roof, which could be open at any time.
Levinson said it is possible that the restaurant could be in compliance with noise ordinances while still directing music toward residences where it wouldn’t be measured by police officers responding to noise complaints. ::
Article Posted: Monday, April 30th, 2012
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