Consolidation of two 79th St. parcels ok’d

Consolidation of two 79th St. parcels ok’d

(Feb. 7, 2014) The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal to combine two lots on Coastal Highway south of 79th Street into one redevelopment project.

The proposed facility will occupy the former location of Senor Cigar’s, on the corner of Coastal Highway and 79th Street, as well as the lot of the K-Coast Surf Shop location to its south.

“It is a consolidation of two parcels,” said city Zoning Administrator R. Blaine Smith. “One of them housed a K-Coast to the south, and to the north is what used to be Senor Cigar’s, which has been demolished. K-Coast will be torn down to make way as well.”

The project is being done by K-Coast owner Chris Shanahan, himself a member of the commission. Shanahan recused himself from the discussion and vote on the proposal.

The new facility will be two stories, just shy of 5,000 square feet, and contain both retail and restaurant units. The building will be situated on the southwest of the combined lots, with parking on the north and east sides.

The commission questioned, as a matter of principle, why the new project was being allowed to keep the deficiency of parking spaces from the previous buildings despite the change of use.

Current city code requires a certain number of parking spaces, based on the use and size of a facility. However, older buildings are grandfathered in, and are allowed to re-build so long as they do not increase the total number of parking spaces they are lacking.

In the current case, the old buildings housing K-Coast and Senor Cigar’s were short 11 spaces under current regulations, meaning the new project could be built 11 spaces short as well.

“In many properties, they’ve rebuilt from the ground up as long as they don’t make the deficiency worse,” Smith said. “The code still allows the use to be changed.”

The commission seemed inclined that any change of use from a previous structure should re-set the parking tally, so to speak.

“I don’t see this one being an issue, but other ones that come through could be,” said Commission Chair Pam Buckley.

“We need to address this, because eventually it’s going to come back and bite us,” said Commissioner Lauren Taylor.

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