Proposals on restaurant, grocery prompt debate ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY--Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

June 08, 1993|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Staff Writer

Seventy-five people packed Annapolis City Hall last night for a lengthy series of hearings on a restaurant's bid to stay open longer, a proposal for a new grocery store and the city's proposed budget.

Several dozen downtown residents came with petitions to oppose an attempt by a Main Street restaurant to extend its hours until 2 a.m.

Other residents showed up to voice conflicting opinions on a proposed zoning change to allow a grocery store on Forest Drive and to request more money for social service programs in the proposed $38.3 million budget for fiscal 1994.

The night began with a heated argument over the application by Buddy's Crabs and Ribs to have late-night entertainment and dancing, and to serve alcoholic drinks without meals.

This is the second time the restaurant has tried to stay open past midnight. In 1990, Buddy's sued the city to reverse a decision denying the later hours but lost.

Alan J. Hyatt, attorney for Harvey Blonder, the owner of Buddy's, clashed several times with Will Scott, chairman of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.

"If people sitting at the tables are drinking and not eating, then that's a nightclub in my opinion," Mr. Scott said during the hearing, which was continued from May 24.

Mr. Hyatt countered: "So you have to read something into it."

Alderman John Hammond, who represents the downtown ward, asked Mr. Blonder why he had previously told the planning commission that food would only be served until 9 p.m. and now said it would be served until midnight.

Mr. Blonder denied making the earlier statement.

Four people, including Mr. Blonder's son, Kevin, supported the application. Arthur Greenbaum, a downtown resident, handed over 24 petitions opposing the longer hours that would require a super majority vote -- seven of the nine council members -- for approval.

In other business, residents of communities off Forest Drive testified in favor of a zoning change to permit a nearby Safeway store.

Environmental activists opposed the plan, saying it would worsen traffic conditions on one of the city's busiest and most crowded corridors.

Also, the council discussed Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins' proposed operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, which would cut the city tax rate by a nickel, from $1.80 per $100 of assessed value to $1.75, and expand curbside recycling.

Carlesa Finney requested that money be included to help a local program for troubled youths that has suffered sharp cutbacks in state funding.

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