• In Sept., 2010, VPC filed an application to change the land-use of the space it rents (the first floor and one of the second floor residential units of 1501 17th Ave. E) from ‘grocery’ (and in the case of the upstairs, ‘residential’) to ‘restaurant.’
  • The previous May, DPD found VPC in violation of their ‘grocery’ land-use, and ordered them to submit Administrative Conditional Use Application by July 1st.
  • The group now known as Volunteer Park Neighbors filed the complaint that resulted in VPC’s notification of land-use violation.
  • We did so because of our concern about commercial use of VPC’s back patio.
  • We are not willing to live with the possibility of 30 more seats on a patio or use of the 2nd floor, and the ensuing greater impacts on our families.

Our Position

  • We believe it is reasonable to support VPC’s request to legalize, and at the same time ask the owners to mitigate their impacts on our neighborhood.
  • We offered to support VPC’s request to legalize if VPC would agree to reasonable mitigations of those impacts.
  • VPC refused.
  • Therefore, we did not support VPC’s request to legalize their restaurant.


  • Neighbors are concerned primarily about VPC’s plans to use their patio for commercial activity.

Early in 2010, VPC began construction on the patio. The neighbors now known as VP Neighbors decided that adding the impacts of a commercial patio to the restaurant impacts we already lived with was more impact than we wanted to live next to.

We approached the owners monthly, for four months. Finding no give, we turned to the City. The DPD encouraged us to file a complaint about VPC’s land-use violation of the first floor of 1501. Succinctly:

  • 1501 has the same zoning as the rest of our neighborhood: ‘residential.’
  • The first floor was granted ‘non-conforming use: grocery.’
  • The second floor and back yard are zoned to the neighborhood: ‘residential.’
  • Tenants preceding VPC certainly pushed the limits of the ‘grocery’ land-use.
  • Specifically, the previous tenant illegally established 1501 as a café.
  • Before opening, VPC owners constructed a full, commercial kitchen. VPC opened in 2007 as a restaurant, in full violation of the ‘grocery’ land-use.
  • In May of 2010, neighbors filed the complaint.

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