City tells Pinery: Provide more traffic info

       After a neighborhood meeting and her own analysis of proposed changes to the Pinery's plans for Bijou Hill, Meggan Herington of City Land Use Review has asked the applicant for additional traffic information.
       Also, she has decided that all three requests on behalf of the wedding and event center will need to go to the City Planning Commission.
       Under city ordinances, two of the requests (for a use variance and non-use variance) automatically would go to the commission, but the planner has discretion on what's termed a “minor amendment” to a development plan. In this case, the amendment includes the request to define the operation as a restaurant.
       Due to open at the end of this month under previous city approvals, the Pinery at the Hill will operate out of a 21,000-square-foot building it recently built - partly on the foundation for a former restaurant building - on a 3 ˝-acre site at 775 Bijou St.
       Herington said the Pinery's requests could go to the October Commission meeting, but the timing depends on how soon she receives a new traffic report.
       Asked why she called for more traffic info, she said in an e-mail, “The neighbors had concerns about traffic and parking on the public streets. The city would like the applicant's traffic engineer to address the concerns and possible solutions. City Traffic is also asking that the traffic report evaluate the number of seats in the restaurant area and apply traffic numbers based on seating (in addition to what has been provided).”
       The neighborhood meeting was Sept. 11. About a dozen people who live near the Pinery were in attendance. A few residents expressed concerns about why the Pinery was seeking restaurant status from the city now, when it had not done so last year during the initial approval process. Representatives of the Pinery offered the opinion that those approvals essentially gave the Pinery restaurant status, and the approval being sought will just make that official.

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