There is a new sports bar and restaurant in the pipeline in Mandarin.
City Council upheld a Jacksonville Planning Commission decision approving a zoning waiver and exception for the Time Out Sports Grill Mandarin, despite neighbor concerns about noise and traffic safety.
Council upheld the decision Aug. 24, denying an appeal by the neighbors in a 12-5 vote.
District Council member Michael Boylan voted against denying the appeal. He was joined by Council members Danny Becton, Matt Carlucci, Al Ferraro and Joyce Morgan who also sided with the neighbors who appealed the commission’s approval.
During the discussion of the resolution, Carlucci said he visited the site and observed that the commercial general use zoning granted years ago for the former Village Inn is adjacent to residential property with no buffer between the two uses.
“Village Inn shouldn’t have been approved,” Carlucci said, even though it served pie and had what he described as a “tame crowd.”
“There are red flags all over this zoning,” Carlucci said.
Becton cited the minimum distance waiver that was approved by the commission. The waiver will allow Time Out to sell liquor 110 feet from a church or school instead of the 500 feet required in the city zoning regulations.
“Why do we have a zoning code?” Becton said.
Restaurateur Matt Harris plans to renovate the former Village Inn restaurant at 10140 San Jose Blvd., at Haley Road.
Harris owns the Time Out Sports Grill on Beach Boulevard. Its reputation for happy hours concerned Mandarin residents.
The Planning Commission voted May 6 to grant the exception and the liquor sales distance waiver, with conditions that the patio bar facing San Jose Boulevard have a landscaped fence blocking the view of the business from along Haley Road.
Neighbors objected to possible noise and pedestrian safety issues as well as concerns that customers will use the neighborhood as a cut through to Scott Mill Road. They also don’t want cars parking along streets in the neighborhood.
Residents appealed the approval to the Council Land Use and Zoning Committee, which voted 5-2 on Aug. 17 to deny the appeal. Committee members Boylan and Ferraro voted to grant the appeal.
The Planning Commission considers zoning exceptions and liquor distance waivers, and its decisions are final unless appealed.
Appeals are sent to Council by way of the Land Use and Zoning Committee. Full Council has the final vote.
Associate Editor Max Marbut contributed to this report.