Subtract a few details on votes cast, add about seven miles to the east, and the two situations are ironically similar.

Subtract a few details on votes cast, add about seven miles to the east, and the two situations are ironically similar.

During Monday night’s Grain Valley Board of Aldermen meeting, aldermen voted 3-2 to approve a conditional use permit that would have allowed a bar and grill in the Bristol Park mixed-use development. (Aldermen Dale Arnold and Mike Todd were opposed.)

But because Ward 3 Alderman Bob Headley was absent during the meeting on a work-related trip, the permit failed to pass on its second reading. Issues require four “yes” votes for passage, whether the votes are cast by aldermen or the mayor.

However, Mayor David Halphin could only cast his vote in the event of a tie.  

Joe Mortallaro, who is affiliated with S&T Enterprises in Blue Springs and is a co-owner of the proposed bar and grill in Grain Valley, has walked a familiar line in recent months with the Blue Springs City Council. In March, Mortallaro was one of five Blue Springs residents who signed an affidavit in support of a recall of Blue Springs City Councilman Ron Fowler.

During the Jan. 5 Blue Springs City Council meeting, Fowler abstained his vote on a measure that would have rezoned and approved a 1 percent Community Improvement District sales tax for the Parkway West and Parkway Place developments on Adams Dairy Parkway. Other council members had voted 3-2 to deny the request. (Fowler has since brought the issue before the council again and voted “no.”)

City Administrator Gary Bradley said he sees in the irony in the similarity between the Blue Springs and Grain Valley applications, but with Grain Valley, he said, Headley was called out of town on a business-related issue and was unable to cast his vote. Headley voted in favor of the mixed-use development for a bar and grill during its first reading.

“It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t there,” Headley told The Examiner Wednesday afternoon.

“I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I didn’t think it would be that much of an issue going in.”

“It’s kind of a sticky situation,” said Mike Scully, a Ward 3 alderman who voted in favor of the bar and grill. “I understand the people complaining don’t want a bar, but this is a special use permit for a sports bar and grill. They’ve got a legitimate concern, but it’s no different than a regular restaurant where you have a drink with your dinner. I think we need more places to sit down and eat like that.”

Scully added that he “doesn’t think it’s a dead issue yet” and believes it will be brought back before the board for discussion.

Bradley said he is unsure whether he expects the issue to come before the Board of Aldermen again.

According to Robert’s Rules of Order, which the Grain Valley Board of Aldermen adheres to, one alderman on the prevailing side would have to make a motion to reconsider the conditional use permit and those aldermen in attendance could then cast their votes.

If that should fail to occur, Bradley said, the project’s applicant could come before the city’s Planning Commission again with an application. While Bradley said several people have asked him why Arnold and Todd would bring the issue before the board again since they voted against it, Bradley believes they are two level-headed people who would make the best decision in the city’s interest.

Arnold and Todd also voted “no” on the conditional use permit during its first reading before the board of aldermen. 

“Nobody’s vote changed; the only difference is the math changed,” Bradley said of the first and second readings. “They didn’t turn it down; it just wasn’t approved. It still had a majority of the votes, 3-2. In a similar situation, if you have a quorum of four people, it only takes one ‘no’ vote for something to fail because it takes three ‘yes’ votes.” 

Dan Strack, a Ward 2 resident who lives about two blocks outside of the Bristol Park development, said the proposed bar and grill, along with a coffee shop and tanning salon, would be located near the corner of Kirby Road and Yennie Avenue in Grain Valley. Separate ordinances approving conditional use permits to allow a coffee shop and a tanning salon in the Bristol Park development were unanimously approved Monday night.

Strack spoke against the proposed bar and grill Monday night, citing that it would be located near 117 apartment units where children and families reside.

“Because of the way that I know how people are when they cut through town and they’ve had three or four beers, they’ll cut through our street and we’ve got probably 10 kids – at any given moment – on that street,” Strack said. “And, in general, we just don’t need another bar and grill in Grain Valley.”