After discussions with nearby property owners, the Fredericksburg City Council approved a Conditional Use Permit for a unique business at the old Super S location.
The council unanimously approved the permit during a 6 p.m. meeting held via Zoom on Tuesday, Sept. 1.
This business would be an “adaptive reuse” of the building at 206 N. Milam Street, according to city documents. The building’s main floor will be divided into multiple suites for use by local businesses.
A conditional use permit allows for the use of a club or lodge, a cocktail lounge, food sales, general retail sales, liquor sales and a microbrewery or distillery. It initially allowed for food trucks, but that was voted out of the permit, as the building is in the Historic District Overlay.
After a meeting between the applicant and tenants, only 33% of the building could be used by alcohol sale establishments.
Property owners around the shop voiced their disapproval during the public hearing, saying it could cause neighborhood disturbance. Some residents’ concerns were dealt with by the applicants leading up to the meeting, but others were still concerned.
Veronica Traun, who lives on West Schubert Street, was still opposed to the decision.
“It’s a commercial property that’s going to attract a lot of people, especially the wine and liquor sales,” Traun said. “Given where my property is, there is a lot of noise coming from Main Street. All this is going to do is add more noise to the area.”
Traun said she would be directly impacted by this, as she lives across the street.
“I used to just take a few steps and I’m right there when the Super S store was there,” Traun said.
She added she would be less opposed if it was more of an indoor facility.
Michael Linehan, managing partner with Land Strategies Inc., said all of the six tenant areas will be indoors. However, there is a rear yard to be used as a community space to be used by tenants.
“We are required to be below the decibel level allowed by the city, so there will be no amplified music, or concerts or events of that nature that would be detrimental to the neighborhood,” Linehan said.
Resident George Studor said he was also concerned about the noise issue. Even though the tenants were supposed to follow the noise ordinance, an outdoor space accommodating an event with alcohol may result in excessive noise.
“Maybe you could consider restricting what venues can have access to the outdoors to minimize that risk,” Studor said.
To this, Linehan said all retailers would have access to the outdoor area through a common corridor.
Councilman Tom Musselman wondered why a Planned Unit Permit was being sought, instead of a Conditional Use Permit.
“With a CUP, the city and neighbors really don’t know what they’re getting. With a PUD, the city, the neighbors and the developer knows the exact nature of the development,” Musselman said.
Jordan responded by saying they don’t qualify for a PUD because they don’t have three acres of property. He also believed a CUP would actually be more beneficial to the city.
“I think the Conditional Use Permit process does allow us to look at these things on a case-by-case basis,” Jordan said.
After much discussion, the permit was approved.
Since the Aug. 17 meeting, the Fredericksburg City Council has been working to temporarily change its ordinances to help liquor establishments which have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, Jordan said, the allowance of food trucks in areas not usually permitted.
He recommended removing the exclusion of food trucks from the Historic District Overlay since zoning rules in only some of those areas prohibit food trucks.
“Since most of the underlying zoning in the Historic District Overlay is C-2, C-1.5 or the Central Business District, mobile food establishments would only be permitted in the C-2 district and by use of a Conditional Use Permit in the C-1.5 district,” Jordan said.
Councilmember Bobby Watson didn’t want to see any change to the ordinance after Governor Greg Abbott’s recent relaxation of Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission requirements, making it easier for bars to qualify for a food and beverage certificate. Musselman agreed.
Kiehne said he hopes the change would be on a temporary basis.
No changes were made regarding food trucks at this time.
The council also:
• Approved going back to in-person City Council meetings with a Zoom option for those who are uncomfortable attending;
• Approved the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau 2021 Budget; and
• Approved appointments of Doug Cochran, Dr. Rorie Cartier and Miguel Lecuona to the board of directors of the CVB.