SOLANA BEACH — With a reconfigured on-street parking plan, a proposed cafe on South Cedros Avenue was approved by council at the March 14 meeting.
“I really appreciate the applicant taking the extra two weeks or month to go ahead and make these modifications,” Councilman Dave Zito said. “I think it’s a huge improvement.
“This has just resulted in a much better project, and so I’m happy they were willing to do this,” he added.
The property at 435 and 439 S. Cedros, previously home to commercial businesses such as mini-storage and plumbing companies, is in the midst of a renovation.
Cedros Collective, as the project is called, will include six retail and six office units and an approximately 1,300-square-foot cafe with a 540-square-foot outdoor patio on the southeast corner of the site.
Although a restaurant operator has not been selected, the property owner is seeking approval for a business that could be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner or any combination of the three.
Architect Brian Church said current plans call for 28 seats inside and 28 on the patio, but the exact number will be determined once an operator is chosen.
The proposed cafe will serve beer and wine but not include a bar. The applicant is also not seeking approval for amplified music or live entertainment.
The applicant leased space west of the building from North County Transit District to create 16 additional parking spaces, although only 13 new ones are mandated because of the added cafe.
There are 10 spaces in front of the building on Cedros that are not in compliance with city codes. Since they are associated with the retail-commercial component of the project, which is not a change of use, there is no requirement for them to be updated.
When the project was first presented for approval at the Feb. 14 meeting, council members said they liked the concept but asked Church to possibly add some amenities and improve on-street parking even though he was not required to do so.
Church developed two options, both of which exceed the parking requirement.
Council members selected the one that removes the existing angled onsite parking in front of the north building and replaces it with three parallel spaces on Cedros.
In front of the south building, where the cafe will be located, three existing angled parking spaces will be replaced with one parallel space and one that meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Additionally, two parallel spaces will be added behind the south building.
The bike parking area has been expanded and a walkway to bicycle parking was added so users won’t have to walk in the landscaping or the main drive aisle.
In front of both buildings, street parking spaces will be restriped to provide two more spaces and landscaping will be added along the east property line between the parking and the sidewalk.
The overall project requires 23 total spaces. The preferred option adds 24, while the other alternative provided 26.
“I think it’s actually a nicer project than the initial one,” Councilwoman Jewel Edson said. “I like the organization of what’s in front of the south building.”
She noted the new design improves existing spaces that are hard to get into, but said she had concerns about reducing the amount of parking.
“I just think today so many people take Uber and bike and alternate modes of transportation that sometimes you take away the parking and they figure out how to get there anyway,” Mayor Ginger Marshall said.
Church said the option selected by council members is much more usable.
The project was approved with the condition that an additional permit will be required if live entertainment is added, but the applicant said he has “no intention of doing live music.”