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Crossbar Hits Roadblock with BMZA

| February 26, 2014 | 3 Comments

7de9090ea3b679d7d072029aa94b5d66The Ryleigh’s restaurant group’s plans for Crossbar were approved on Thursday, February 20th by the Board of Liquor License Commissioners for Baltimore City (BLLC) thus expanding the liquor license from 12-14 E. Cross St. to 12-18 E. Cross St. However, the drawings for the plan, which included several zoning variances, were denied at the Baltimore City Municipal Zoning and Appeals Board (BMZA) yesterday, February 25th. The plan was approved by a 3-2 vote, but a 4-1 decision of approval is needed for projects to move forward.

A BMZA spokesman told SouthBMore.com that 90% of BMZA decisions are unanimous, so this was not a typical board decision.

“While we are disappointed with yesterday’s result and the further delay in the process, we are moving forward with our project and are still shooting to open for Oktoberfest 2014,” said Brian McComas of Ryleigh’s restaurant to SouthBMore.com.

The plan for Crossbar, which would use the properties from 12-18 E. Cross St. including the former Turner’s/Billabong and Lanasa Produce, called for the razing of 14-18 E. Cross St., while retaining the front wall for use as an open courtyard, as well as a two-story rear addition at 12 E. Cross St. Crossbar and the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association (SBNA), which shares the proposed location with Federal Hill Neighborhood Association (FHNA), reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), but FHNA opposed the plan.

The plan also received a letter of support from the Federal Hill South Neighborhood Association (FHSNA) and an email of support from Ottterbein and Sharp-Leadenhall.

When plans do not receive BMZA approval, an applicant has four options. They can: 1.) appeal the decision with the Circuit Court, 2.) resubmit the same plans in a year, 3.) submit “significantly different” plans soon after, or 4.) construct the project within Baltimore City zoning codes.

About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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  • Gerard Marconi

    Nice of you to quote just one side of this very contentious issue. How about a quote from FHNA as to why the immediate neighbors of the proposed expansion are so concerned? Their arguments were persuasive enough for two of the five board members to oppose it.

  • Erik

    What were the arguments?

  • cta84

    The development of a thriving neighborhood should not be hindered by just a few vocal residents. The overall economic impact from this bar/restaurant will add to the tax base and replace rotting storefronts.

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