Union Kitchen and Tap proposes patio expansion

ENCINITAS — A popular bar along Coast Highway 101 is proposing an expansion with a 500-square-foot patio area, which is causing concern among residents worried about increased rowdiness as a result of the project.

Union Kitchen and Tap’s proposal would create an outdoor patio that would stay open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., shorter than the bar’s operating hours of 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Alcohol would be allowed to be served on the patio during its operation hours.

The proposal also calls for no live music or recorded music on the outdoor patio area, as well as a roof-like structure atop the area to further mitigate sound.

Many of the conditions of the projects were created as a result of suggestions and concerns of neighbors, who expressed worry that any amplified or live sound would be unbearable for the surrounding property owners, and the increase in alcohol serving area would lead to increased unruly behavior.

More than 60 residents attended a citizens participation meeting in May 2016 and voiced those concerns both at the meeting and in writing.

One of the most concerned entities was the Self Realization Fellowship, the venerable institution just south of Union, which has expressed concern over the years that the increasing presence of alcohol serving establishments is ruining the peace and quiet that many of its visitors seek.

In a letter dated Jan. 3, SRF representatives outlined a list of conditions it hoped Union would include in the plan, including the 10 p.m. patio closing time, prohibition of live or recorded music and no planned gatherings in the newly expanded parking area.

Union has included many of those requests in the updated plans.

The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at City Hall.

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