Mozambique project moves forward

Neighbors of Mozambique may not be satisfied with location and design changes for an outdoor elevator and a reduction in the number of umbrellas and heaters for a proposed roof deck.

But the City Council voted 4-0 on Tuesday to approve the project, a revision of the plan first approved in a 3-2 vote by the Planning Commission in October and appealed by neighbors, based on the potential to block neighbors' views. Councilman Robert Whalen recused himself because he was on the commission when it reviewed the project.

Revisions included moving the outdoor elevator shaft 52 feet north and nine feet south and reducing the heaters on the new rooftop deck from 11 to eight and the umbrellas from 12 to nine. There will also be limited hours — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Although neighbors no longer expressed concerns about the potential for blocked views, they still had questions about how the other limitations would be ensured.

"I want to know how the city will enforce the hours for the umbrellas and the heaters, and frankly I am getting a little tired of talking about it," resident Eileen Hoffman said.

Hoffman also said she wanted assurance that the rooftop deck serviced by the elevator would never be an enclosed structure.

"I want it on record that this is a patio with umbrellas that come down at 4 p.m.," Hoffman said.

Neighbor Chris Dornin said he was pleased with changes in the plan and the hours of operation.

"My view is much improved with this change," said Glenneryre Street resident Gary Hollon. "My major problem is how the hours will be enforced."

A limit on the hours the umbrellas may be unfurled was included in the resolution that sustained the commission approval of the project design and conditional use permit.

Written complaints about violations are subject to review and possible revocation of the approval, City Attorney Philip Kohn said.

"You'll let us know," Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson said to the wary Hoffman.

Architect Marshall Ininns first presented the project to the council in January, during which he was advised to find another location for the elevator and re-stake the modifications, including a reduced number of umbrellas and heaters on the proposed rooftop deck.

The elevator is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide access to the deck and will be connected to the deck by an exposed corridor. The floor area of the corridor will be subtracted from the existing restaurant area to ensure no intensification of use.

"We have gone to great effort to make this work and we moved the elevator at great expense," Innins said. "If we had presented this to the commission, we might have gotten a 5-0 vote."

Attorney Larry Nokes, who represents Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers, said the rooftop deck enhances the entire tourist-serving area but also benefits local residents and the city.

"Look what a rooftop deck did for the Casa del Camino," Nokes said. "Without it, the city would have lost tax benefits."

Nokes also presented a three-page list of community events hosted by Mozambique.

"Great things have been done (by Mozambique), but that is not relevant," Councilman Steven Dicterow said. "View equity is and that has been achieved."

The approved conditional use permit will apply to the current and any future owners of the property.

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