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Planning Commission OKs Proposal for Emma's

Plans for the new Hume Avenue wine bar and cafe will now go before council.

A new coffee and wine bar on Hume Avenue in Del Ray moved one step closer to fruition last week when the Planning Commission approved the endeavor.

Of 13 speakers who signed up to comment on the proposal put together by mother and daughter team Connie and Jackie Desrosiers, 12 were in support.

"I think it will be a real asset to that end of Del Ray," said Connie Desrosiers. "We don't want to be a bar. It's a community gathering place," adding that there will be no amplified music.

The old farmhouse site also includes two apartments above the proposed cafe.

However, the planned cafe’s neighbor, Epiphany Productions, said while they favor small businesses in general, the new cafe will generate noise impeding their ability to work as well as diminish the value of their property, according to a spokeswoman for the owner of the fundraising and consulting firm who spoke during the public comment period.

Epiphany Productions requested that there be a setback from the building created and that the Desrosiers install a wall with a sound barrier between the properties.

Stephen Koenig, the architect for Emma’s who also sits on the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, said the build-out and plans comply with all city regulations and he did not see the need to fulfill these additional requests.

Planning and Zoning official Barbara Ross, whose last day with the city is Tuesday before retirement, said the city has limits when construction can occur—7 a.m. to 6 p.m.—and that the business would have to comply with those rules.

She also noted that the city has a noise ordinance setting the maximum noise-level between properties at 65 decibels.

The commission approved the cafe with its current plans.

As with most new developments, the city’s Planning and Zoning office will examine the business and its affect on the community after one year of operation.

The proposal will go before City Council on Jan. 12.

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karen January 07, 2013 at 04:05 PM
so excited for a gathering place on this end of the neighborhood!
Gayle R. January 07, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Congratulations - think they will be a wonderful addition to Del Ray and a good neighbor. Look forward to their opening.
Laura Madden January 07, 2013 at 08:27 PM
this is a great idea. i am so glad to see progress up and down the Avenue! Now we could use some fresh cut flowers and a fun shoe store!!!!
Bruce January 07, 2013 at 09:39 PM
Great! I live directly behind the proposed Emma's and look forward to opening my windows and smelling the fine aroma of coffee and hearing the pleasant hubbub of a new neighborhood hangout.
Bruce January 07, 2013 at 09:47 PM
On another note, what would Sen. Mike Crapo have done if he saw a friendly coffee shop open before he encountered the red light?

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