The Walker City Council, after a lengthy discussion at its March 13 meeting, voted unanimously to award a conditional zoning change to Hebert’s Cajun Meats that would allow the business to serve as a restaurant and sell alcoholic beverages.
The zoning change from a category that allows a business to conduct only retail operations to one that would give the business permission to serve on-premises meals and alcoholic beverages, was requested for the store that at 28811 Walker South Road.
The store’s proprietors, Matthew and Christina Hebert, in an address to the council, said it was their understanding that all they had to do to change the manner in which the business served its customers was to make some minor improvements to the building and then apply for the zoning change. However, Nancy Kinble, Walker’s building official, told the council that she had met with the Heberts and explained to them the changes they would have to make before they could turn their business model from a strictly retail outlet into a regular restaurant.
At the outset of the discussion, Walker City Attorney Bobby King asked Kimble a number of questions about the zoning change sought by the Heberts. Answering in the affirmative, Kimble said that the Heberts had allowed live entertainment at the restaurant, an event at which patrons were allowed to bring their own alcohol, even though they were not permitted to do so.
She said the facility did not meet city requirements for adequate bathrooms and meals were being served and eaten at the store, an activity for which the business was not permitted.
King said the Heberts need to install more toilets and a larger grease trap to get the zoning he they were requesting.
In their defense, Matthew Hebert told the council that it was his idea that if he obtained a permit from the fire marshal then he would be able to ask for a zoning change and he could serve meals and alcohol. He said he had already spent a considerable amount of money on rebuilding a required firewall and that he had run out of funds to make the changes required to complete the requested zoning change.
“We want to stay in Walker, we like it here and our customers like out products, but I am broke … I don’t have any more money to put in the business and if we can’t get the change we are asking for, then I don’t know what we are going to do,” Hebert said.
King told the council that if the zoning request was not awarded at this time then, according to city policy, they would have to wait a year to once again make the request. Earlier, the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission had approved the zoning change, which was being presented to the council for final approval.
Councilman Gary Griffin said he did not want the Heberts to go out of business so he proposed that the zoning change be approved on the condition that the Heberts add the required number of toilets to the building and make the other necessary changes required by the city’s building code and that once those steps had been completed, the Heberts could exercise their business in accordance with the new zoning category.
In other business, the council approved the addition of a new section to the city’s Unified Development Code, this one will regulate the construction of self-storage facilities. In presenting the proposal to the council, Finance Director Mike Cotton said, “these regulations will provide protection for the city when future builders of self-storage facilities want to do business here. Spelling out what the city will allow for these types of businesses is part of our master development plan.”
The list of the new requirements includes 12 items that detail what developers of self-storage units can and cannot build. Among the major requirements are:
The council also approved some changes in rules and regulations regarding conduct in the city’s parks. Among the new provisions is one that prohibits, “boisterous, indecent, or vulgar language,” and holds that public nuisances shall not be permitted. Also, pets must be leashed at all times and “droppings,” must be removed. Under the new guidelines, swimming, wading or bathing in the pond is prohibited. The rules state that anyone fishing in the park pond must follow Louisiana State Law which requires possession of a license by adults.
The prohibition on smoking tobacco products in the parks has been extended to a prohibition of “vaping.” The use of all tobacco products is prohibited in the parks.
♪ >> Funding for NJ Business Beat funded by... IBEW Local 102.Serving the NJ business community since 1900.Visit ibew102.org.For more than 100 years, t
Randy Smith, operator of Pinky D’s Poutine Factory food truck, describes the administrative side of running a food truck as “relentless” and “never end
Taylor Swift means big business in Chicago Taylor Swift's three Chicago concerts are big moneymakers for some businesses, with fans shoveling out wads of cash
Rosario Albright and Matthew Aldeguer, arms filled with several Portland-made treasures, had one message for shoppers Saturday: Support local.The couple came to