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March 3, 2017 - The Planning Commission supported live entertainment at the Deja Vu Restaurant and Bull Island Brewing Co., as well as a permit for a hotel at Peninsula Town Center. They also changed their meetings from the first Thursday of the month to the third and reviewed the proposed updates to the Downtown Master Plan.
Deja Vu owner Jeffrey Moore said he planned for a DJ, karaoke, spoken word and potentially jazz bands at his restaurant near the Ace Hardware on Nickerson. Bull Island listed live bands and open mic nights as planned entertainment. Both areas are largely commercial and have standards limits on the hours of music. In addition, staff and Planning Commission backed additional requirements for Bull Island that the large doors that open the brewery to the outside must be closed at 8 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. weekends when there is live music -- essentially the standard requirements for outdoor music permits.
The commission supported the hotel plan, which would occupy the southern end of the former Macy's. Plans call for the extension of Merchant Lane to help traffic move through the site. Apartments are shown on the other side, though that was not part of the formal plan.
The commission was briefed on developments in updating the Downtown Master Plan. The 2004 plan is being updated with input from the downtown business group, Hampton First, and various residents and institutions. While much of the plan is similar, this update looks at a larger footprint for downtown, with new proposals for the waterfront area, the former Harbor Square site now that it's in public control. Among the recommendations is to boost the number of residences in the area from the current 1,100 households to about 5,000 over time to create a more vibrant downtown.
In other matters, the city has been looking at potential changes in how residents can store or park recreational equipment - including campers and boats - on their property. Current zoning laws for RVs are based on size and were developed when vehicles were generally smaller.
Some changes in recreational vehicle storage have been developed by staff. They have been previewed by City Council and the Planning Commission. Staff is doing additional research and plans to bring the matter back to the commission in April.