In Queen Village, a Chinese fast-food take-out restaurant that opened a few months ago has caused some concerns for local neighbors. It seems that the owners opened their eatery, located at 942 S. 5th St., without proper permits or zoning.
Owners appeared before the Queen Village Neighborhood Association (QVNA) zoning committee at its meeting this month seeking support for a variance for their location, which forbids take-out food without a proper license. The owners, according to zoning chair Mike Hauptman, seemed like nice folks who were just unaware of the city’s process. Though a translator was present at the hearing, the language barrier between owners and residents was a hurdle.
The QVNA did not support the application because “neighbors were against it,” said Hauptman. Neighbors said owners keep a dumpster in front of the store and built a vent that blows into a resident’s yard. One can understand why neighbors are upset. While the owners may be honest hard-working folk, these regulations exist, at least in part, to help ensure a certain quality of life for near neighbors and the community at large.
“Neighbors are against take-out because it usually generates a bad vibe … There are people hanging around out front [etc…],” said Hauptman, who opined perhaps the owners might have received bad advice from an architect or attorney or not asked for any at all. “It’s not a great addition to the neighborhood.”
The QVNA suggested the owners move their kitchen to the basement to make space for seats and tables. Hauptman said he thought residents might support a nice eat-in location. He also said he thinks the owners will work toward a solution. But if they don’t, they might get shut down by the city. Eventually. When L&I gets around to it.