DOWNEY - The owner of George's Bar & Grill will redesign plans for a proposed outdoor patio after the original design was rejected by city planners, who said it would increase traffic congestion and place a greater burden on Downey police, which has responded to the restaurant 85 times over the last five years.Owner Jorge Navarro submitted a request to the Planning Commission allowing him to build a 11x35-ft. patio on the east side of the restaurant located at 7857 Florence Ave. Navarro wanted to knock out two columns from the building's colonnade and surround the patio with a 4-ft. high wrought iron fence, with a fabric awning above. City staff, however, said the patio would reduce an adjacent driveway to a single lane only, potentially creating traffic jams in the parking lot and Florence Avenue. The narrowed space could also conflict with vehicles traveling through a KFC drive-thru next door, officials claim. In recommending the patio's denial, officials also pointed out that from 2006 through 2010, George's Bar & Grill generated 85 "calls for service," defined as robberies, assaults, disturbances, drunk subject, person brandishing a weapon or keep the peace calls. In comparison, the Anarchy Library generated 62 calls, Downey Billiards 26, Gloria's Restaurant 37 and Downey Brewing Co. 10. "It is staff's opinion that 85 calls over the five years has placed an undue burden on stretched police resources, which has resulted in a potential impact to the public health, safety and welfare," community development director Brian Saeki and senior planner David Blumenthal wrote in a report to the Planning Commission, adding "...it would not be prudent to expand the business at this time since it could result in additional impacts to the public." The Planning Commission continued the matter to a later date, when Navarro is expected to return with revised plans.
********** Published: July 21, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 14