Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Panel Rejects More Lynch's Parking

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Panel Rejects More Lynch's Parking

Article excerpt

Byline: Caren Burmeister, Shorelines staff writer

JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- The city's Board of Adjustment voted this week against letting Lynch's Irish Pub expand into a rear parking area after people voiced concerns about limited parking in the downtown entertainment district.

Desmond Lynch, who owns the pub at 514 First St. N., applied for a variance to add 4,000 square feet in the pub's back parking lot. The board voted 4-1 against granting the variance.

The city's board may grant variances, or permission to vary from the city's building and parking rules, to homeowners or business owners who can show an undue hardship as long as the variance doesn't harm the public interest.

Lynch said the building expansion plan is primarily designed to add handicap-accessible bathrooms, enlarge the tiny office and add storage space to replace a cooler in the parking lot shed that was burglarized three times last year.

The new building would take up five parking spaces, which Lynch said are unusable anyway because the parking lot has no public access. Lynch said his back parking lot is hamstrung by a one-way alley on the parking lot's north side and an easement on the other side of the lot that he doesn't own but uses by consent from Jennifer Johnson, who owns the J. Johnson Gallery.

But some board members, including Charlie Sellers, had limited sympathy for Lynch's problem, noting that more than half the additional space in his building plan would allow him to expand the bar and create room for new customers.

"I think this place is going to be jammed," Sellers said.

Lynch said the expansion wasn't meant to attract new customers, it was meant to serve customers who are being thrown out because the pub is exceeding its occupancy limit.

Two board members said the city's parking rules don't allow the board to grant an exception under such conditions. …

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