Grain Valley residents, despite some opposition, may soon have a new place to sit down and eat.
At least 30 Grain Valley residents felt opposition toward a proposed bar and grill development, but their signatures on a petition left no mark on the deciding votes.
The Grain Valley Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 Tuesday night on the second reading for a conditional use permit that will allow a bar and grill in the Bristol Park mixed-use development. The vote came two weeks after Grain Valley Ward 2 Alderman Mike Todd asked the Board of Aldermen to reconsider the second reading.
At the April 27 meeting, the issue failed to pass, despite a 3-2 vote to approve. It failed to pass because Ward 3 Alderman Bob Headley was absent on a work-related trip. Issues require four “yes” votes for passage.
Dan Strack, a former candidate for Ward 2 alderman, presented the board with a petition that 32 residents near the Bristol Park development had signed in opposition of a bar and grill. Angela Strack, Dan’s wife, said she believes the neighborhood should remain solely residential.
“Most of us are upset that somehow this slipped through zoning without ever being notified. Intentions mean nothing,” Angela Strack said. “We just seem like such cry babies because there’s such apathy going on in city government. This is why people don’t get involved because they get stonewalled.”
The conditional use permit outlines the following clauses: Business will close by 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday; no live bands will be allowed; the conditional use permit will be reviewed every two years; and the planning and zoning commission will review any change in the liquor license.
Todd and Ward 1 Alderman Dale Arnold voted “no” for the conditional use permit on all of its readings, including Tuesday night’s reading. Arnold, who serves on the city’s planning and zoning commission as the Board of Aldermen representative, said the development was originally presented to planning and zoning as a separate structure that would hold a convenience store. Instead, BT’s Sports Bar & Grill will be attached to the Bristol Park clubhouse, though it has a separate locked door.
“I still have the feeling that it’s a conditional use permit and that an alcoholic sales business was never mentioned and also that it’s so close to the residents,” Arnold said after Tuesday’s meeting. “Those can all be handled by management if they handle the property properly, but I have seen issues with other businesses where it wasn’t managed properly, and it took some time before the issue was rectified in the process.”
David Zeiler, general counsel for BT’s Sports Bar & Grill, said too much emphasis has been placed on the alcoholic sale portion with the bar and grill. The restaurant must provide at least 51 percent in sales of food compared to total sales of alcohol, Zeiler said.
“We fully intend to be more of a food establishment than an alcohol establishment. We are not doing room service of any alcohol, and we’re not selling any alcohol to users of the pool,” Zeiler said. “We’ve got to crawl before we walk before we run, and this is a brand-new establishment.”
Dan Strack questioned the possible conflict of interest in Ward 2 Alderman Chuck Johnston’s vote. Strack was referencing a lawsuit that Adams Dairy Parkway Investors LLC in February filed against the city of Blue Springs, the Blue Springs City Council and Councilman Ron Fowler.
In the lawsuit, Adams Dairy Investors Group alleges that the city council and specifically Fowler had acted illegally in denying applications for rezoning that would include BT’s C-Stores, an upscale convenience store. Johnston is a manager of Adams Dairy Parkway Investors LLC.
“Mr. Johnston, nor any corporation he was involved in, was involved in that lawsuit or involved in any of the political processes that took place or the request that were being made by the city of Blue Springs,” said Zeiler, who also represents the lead attorney for Adams Dairy Investors LLC. “Alderman Johnston had nothing to do with the city of Blue Springs lawsuit. That was brought by an entirely different ownership group.”