Residents protest placement of restaurant and bar in neighborhood

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 10/25/18

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — A pair of residents spoke out at the Robertsdale Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 15, protesting a proposed restaurant and bar in their neighborhood.

“I’m not against …

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Residents protest placement of restaurant and bar in neighborhood

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ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — A pair of residents spoke out at the Robertsdale Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 15, protesting a proposed restaurant and bar in their neighborhood.

“I’m not against having a business there, or even a restaurant. There was one there before,” said one local resident. “But if it’s going to be a bar, serving alcohol, I do have a problem with that. This is a small, quiet neighborhood. We have families with young children and I don’t think it’s appropriate to have this in our back yard.”

For the last few weeks, there has been a lot of activity surrounding the old Hickory House Barbecue restaurant, with a sign in front touting “Coming Soon: Billy Jacks Grill & Bar on Alabama 59.” Residents of St. Paul Street are concerned about the placement of the establishment near their neighborhood.

Residents say, according to their Facebook page, the establishment will also have karaoke and it appears that they will have a large courtyard.

“I know they are building a fence, but it doesn’t appear that the fence will extend to my mother’s property,” said one resident. “Even if it did extend to the property, I don’t think a metal fence will be enough to stop the noise that this could create if there’s going to be a lot of activity outside.”

Residents also expressed concern that, as adjacent property owners, they have not been informed of whether or not the business has obtained a liquor license, or any other activity.

Mayor Charles Murphy said since there is no change in zoning for the property, it will likely not require a public hearing to open the restaurant.

As far as a liquor license, preliminary approval has yet to come before the council. If the council grants preliminary approval, the license would then go before the Alabama ABC Board for final approval.

The city also maintains a noise ordinance prohibiting activity in a residential neighborhood after 11 p.m.

“The only think I can tell you is to stay in contact with me and I will let you know what’s happening regarding the property,” Murphy said. “We can ask them to put up a fence as a courtesy to surrounding residents, but it is not required, and we can’t enforce that. I assure you, we will keep an eye on it.”

In other business Oct. 15, the council:

•Donated $500 to sponsor the South Baldwin Center for Technology’s FFA group to attend a National Convention in Indianapolis Oct. 23.

•Approved a contract with Civil Southeast to serve as engineers for a TAP grant sidewalk construction.

•Approved a request from Lifeway Community Church to hold services in Honeybee Park on Sunday, Oct. 21.