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Jacksonville enforces conditions on Schoolhaus Brewhaus

JACKSONVILLE — Planning commissioners dropped one requirement Wednesday but upheld two others that affect operations at Frau Kemmling Schoolhaus Brewhaus.

Residents living near the German restaurant and bar had asked the city to enforce conditions established for the venue. Owners of the business, located at Bigham Knoll, had asked the Planning Commission to change a traffic pattern for delivery trucks, to modify a parking area and to drop a requirement for a gate in a fence.

Commissioners eliminated the gate requirement but left the others intact.

"We'll comply," said Frau Kemmling owner Brooke Ashland. "It just takes time to get through all of this."

Commissioners imposed seven conditions on the operation in July 2011 as part of an approval process for use of a prep kitchen that is separate from the restaurant. In November neighbors complained that the requirements weren't being met.

An April 11 report by Planning Director Amy Stevenson noted that the restaurant had complied with requirements for a landscape plan and landscaping to screen the operation, a report on tree health, a site plan for an employee break area and a sign plan.

A public hearing was held April 11, but commissioners put off deliberations then so they could visit the site. The visit took place May 2.

"It was a fairly complicated meeting that led to a fairly simple result," said Planning Commission Chairman Nathan Broom. "It was just a good deliberation among the commission members trying to find the right words and the right way to handle it."

Commissioners upheld a requirement that delivery trucks enter from C Street and exit the area, the former Jacksonville School site, on G Street. Delivery trucks had been entering from G Street.

Frau Kemmling representatives had voiced concerns that trucks entering from C Street would hit branches on oak trees, and they were not eager to have the trees trimmed. But an arborist's reported stated the trees were successfully pruned in 2009.

"The commission decided proper pruning of the trees will allow trucks to travel through the campus without injury to the trees," said Stevenson.

Commissioners also upheld the need for a revised site plan for the delivery area. The new plan must show parking spaces and demonstrate the ability of delivery vehicles to maneuver. They added a condition that the area be paved and striped by Oct. 1.

The requirement for a gate was dropped because the area doesn't allow construction that would comply with building codes. But the restaurant will be required to post a sign asking visitors to be considerate of those living nearby.

"The commission was pleased to see the applicant was making progress toward the conditions," said Broom. "The feeling of the meeting last night seemed to be that we are on the right track."

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.