Nov 262012
 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Not many people would choose to reside within earshot of a business that features a festive atmosphere, including outdoor music. Allowing such a business near the homes of longtime city residents illustrates sheer negligence at best and total disregard at worst.

Greenville can and should do better by its long-established residential taxpayers, who rightly expect their city not to facilitate the circumvention of its own noise ordinance.

That is essentially what has happened regarding the location of a popular pizza chain directly across Charles Boulevard from the edge of a decades-old neighborhood.

The Mellow Mushroom’s investors, knowing the festive nature of their business, could have foreseen the overwhelming potential for conflict with residential neighbors so closely situated to the leased site. But the bulk of responsibility for that conflict rests with Greenville’s planning and zoning officials.

After multiple complaints from neighbors, and citations issued by the city, the Greenville Board of Adjustment last week modified the restaurant’s permit, tempering the outdoor activity that generates most of the offensive noise. The restaurant’s operators have expressed a willingness to comply with the modifications, but they shouldn’t be in that position.

Greenville can easily accommodate party-atmosphere restaurants without encroaching upon the peace and serenity of anyone’s bedroom. While the Mellow Mushroom’s location is prime in many respects — notably its walking distance from the Greenville Mall and East Carolina University’s sports complex — its proximity to residential homes should have precluded it from consideration.

Greenville’s rapid growth has fostered the recent development of several restaurants and other businesses along the edges of large parking lots that serve shopping centers — the great majority at a reasonable distance from residential development.

As the city and ECU continue to grow we can expect more such business investment, but it simply must respect an acceptable buffer between homeowners and their equally important investments.

By all other apparent measures, the Mellow Mushroom is an upstanding corporate citizen whose presence and investment in this community is welcome and appreciated. The business has incorporated a local theme that highlights the passions of the Pirate faithful. While the restaurant shares some responsibility for its presence so close to a neighborhood, poor planning on the city’s part is mostly to blame.

Greenville’s awkward position of having to force a celebrated and popular business to curtail its theme and mission under these circumstances should ensure that it does not happen again.

via The Daily Reflector.

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