Bruce Daniels, left, gestures towards plans he and Rick Crago, in the pink shirt, have for an expansion project at the property containing Leon’s Garage and the House of Spirits, during a meeting Wednesday. The stakeholders invited neighbors to the House of Spirits to share their concerns during the two-hour meeting. Also shown looking at the plans are neighbor Patricia Croy, second from left, and her son, Kelly. Also pictured, wearing the mask, is Liz Martin. (Journal-Tribune photo by Chad Williamson)
At meeting on Leon’s expansion, official says information is being gathered
Whenever the expansion of the Leon’s Garage reaches completion it appears a city noise ordinance will be waiting.
“We’re open to amending and improving the way we handle noise,” Marysville City Administrator Terry Emery said.
In a meeting between stakeholders, impacted residents and Bruce Daniels and Rick Crago Wednesday night at the House of Spirits, 318 E. Fifth St., a variety of concerns were raised. Neighbors to Leon’s Garage, 326 E. Fifth St., and the House of Spirits are unsettled by the potential noise, parking problems, odor and litter that a proposed $2.5 million expansion at the project could bring.
“That is a major, major, major change to the area,” Kelly Croy said. “Your neighbors are speaking.”
Croy attended the meeting on behalf of his 90-year-old mother, Patricia, whose property backs up to the proposed expansion, which will extend behind the existing Leon’s/House of Spirits property all the way to Fourth Street. The plans include a brewery and plans to expand Leon’s to include an outdoor stage for music events.
During a recent Marysville Design Review Board meeting on the expansion it was noted that Marysville does not currently have a noise ordinance in place. Emery said noise complaints in the past have been handled by the police department. If the volume is too loud and not reduced, it could eventually result in a disorderly conduct citation for the offender.
But that process could be changing. At Wednesday’s meeting, Emery said the city is compiling research for a potential change. The administrator said the city law director is currently compiling noise ordinances from other area municipalities.
“We’re looking at what some other communities have in place,” Emery said.
Daniels and Crago said the outdoor stage is not intended to be used consistently, offering that it might be used up to six times per year for music. After hearing similar complaints at the design review meeting, Daniels said the developers are looking to install an eight-foot tall fence along an alley beside the property. The fence is intended to provide some buffer for the sound and light which might reach nearby neighbors on Walnut Street.
Donald Boerger, who attended the meeting as a nearby resident and elected city councilman for the area, said protecting the quality of life for residents was the primary reason he ran for office. He said the city should easily be able to regulate excessive noise between certain hours.
“Marysville is growing, but in my opinion we don’t have the right codes in place to protect the residents,” Boerger said.
Other concerns from the design review meeting were reiterated during Wednesday’s meeting, including parking, which is a major concern to residents on North Oak Street. Those concerns are amplified by fears that outdoor events will take place on a large section of parking lot.
“I’ve got concerns about all of it,” 27-year Oak Street resident Chris Cantleberry said. “We’ve got to live with this.”
Daniels said plans are in the works that could alleviate some of the parking concerns in the area, but he would not elaborate further. Daniels said he and Crago have pledged to listen to the concerns of the neighbors and did not intend to surprise residents with the expansion plans.
“It was quite a shock,” Patricia Croy said.
Daniels said his intention has always been to improve the property and enhance the appeal of Marysville’s Uptown area.
“We don’t want it to be the same, or worse, than it was before for the neighbors,” Daniels said.
Cantleberry said he could not see a situation where the expansion would improve the quality of life for the neighbors.
“I don’t see how it’s going to be better,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
“That’s the way I feel,” Patricia Croy added.
Daniels asked Cantleberry if he felt Leon’s was an improvement over the NAPA auto parts store that was previously on the lot.
“No,” Cantleberry said.
He went on to say that it’s hard to feel that the neighbors are valued in the process when some were “pushed out” to make way for the expansion. A pair or properties between Leon’s and Fourth Street, including the former Knights of Columbus Hall, were purchased ahead of the expansion plans.
“I’m thinking ‘am I the next one to be pushed out,” he said.
Any concessions made would be at the discretion of the developers, as the plans fall within permitted uses of the area’s zoning codes. When the issue comes back before the design review board in August, some adjustments might be made, but the expansion does not require approval from city council to proceed.
Kelly Croy said he simply wants his mother to be able to enjoy her property.
“Mom likes to sit on her porch and read her Journal-Tribune,” he said. “That’s her favorite activity.”
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