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ZAP rejects ‘La Bare’ request for space near cemetery

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 by Austin Monitor

The third attempt to open a “La Bare” nightclub in Austin ran into a roadblock at last week’s Zoning and Platting Commission. Developers are seeking a zoning change to CS-1 for a vacant lot at Wells Branch Parkway and IH-35 along with a permit for an adult-oriented business.


No neighbors showed up at the meeting to oppose the request. And city staff recommended the zoning change, since the site is not within 1,000 feet of a school, church, or residence, but the commission unanimously recommended against the change.


The web site for the club currently promises that “we’ll be announcing our new location very soon”, and the club’s page on MySpace advertises that “we are currently working with the city of Austin to locate a new building and to obtain our liquor license.”


The club’s first site on Riverside Drive closed after it was cited by the city for operating an adult-oriented business too close to a park or school. The owners later returned to the Zoning and Platting Commission with a requested zoning change to allow the club to operate on E. Braker Lane. But the ZAP rejected that request after opposition from neighbors.


The proposed new location is at 1501 W. Wells Branch Parkway, which is currently zoned GR. The nearby uses include a string of fast-food restaurants, an oil-change shop, and a cemetery.


“I can’t think of anything that’s more painful than to go to that adjacent property and bury your grandmother…and here’s La Bare across the driveway,” said Commission Chair Betty Baker. “This just amazes me.”


The rest of the commission felt the same way. “That seems really inappropriate,” said Commissioner Donna Tiemann. “There are lots of cemeteries that are almost like park spaces or places of meditation or reflection, so I couldn’t go along with this either.”


Some members of the commission also were concerned about allowing an adult-oriented business along one of the city’s busiest roads. “I just have a real problem with the site selection and I think we can make people’s entryway into the city more appealing,” said Baker. The commission voted 6-0 to recommend against the zoning change.

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