Planning and Zoning Board hears controversial requests


608-111-king_4Historic City News reminds readers that the Planning and Zoning Board will consider two requests from the owners of the proposed Kenny’s Market Place Tuesday; one is to make alcohol sales at the former Hamblen Hardware.

Comments in advance of the hearing have been mixed — both from the neighborhood residents and other business owners along King Street. Many have expressed concerns that allowing alcohol sales will attract an unwelcome nuisance that moved on after the nearby Lil Champ store closed.

“We obtained a detailed demographic study of this current area, which can justify the demand of this concept,” Nrupal Kaushik Patel and Pinkyben Nrupal Patel said in their application.

Another point of concern is Patel’s request for a zoning variance to eliminate the requirement for on-site parking. The Post Office leases all of the spaces east of the building, and tenants to the north and west occupy their own spaces.

In the application, Patel says, “The public would be in easy commute distance from practically all locations downtown, either by a vehicle, bicycle, or walking,” Motorcycles cannot park on the sidewalk and cars cannot stop on the street, so some believe, if approved, Patel’s customers will intrude on their parking spaces.

In addition, Nrupal Patel already owns “Ken’s Corner Store” located at 890 W King Street; at the corner of Volusia Avenue. If “Kenny’s Market Place” is operated like “Ken’s”, neighbors fear it won’t be long before the reincarnation of M&M Market; which was owned by another Patel.

The floor plan submitted by Kenny’s Market Place wouldn’t qualify for, and is not being evaluated as, a restaurant; however, according to Patel, “The employees downtown would have an option to shop on the way home or for fast healthy lunch without having to travel far from work. The students would enjoy the grocery and takeout food concept that accommodates their busy study lifestyle.”

If you plan to attend, the public meeting will convene on February 5, at 2:00 p.m. in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St Augustine.



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