Council allows Creperie du Village to stay shady
The Aspen Times
Aspen City Council on Monday cut some slack for a small restaurant that installed two awnings on its below-grade patio without a building permit.
Owners of the Creperie du Village, located at 400 E. Hopkins Ave., appealed to the council for a temporary-use permit to keep the structure, which provides shade to its patrons, up through Oct. 15.
“I heard so many times that people loved the restaurant but would only come down there at night,” owner Raphael Derly said. “It’s too hot down there.”
Derly told the council he didn’t realize he needed a building permit for the improvements, which has helped business, he said.
The city notified the restaurant it was in violation June 9, and slapped it with a stop-work order June 22, demanding that the structures be removed by July 11.
The owners appealed, seeking a temporary-use permit.
The Community Development Department recommended that the City Council deny the request.
In a memo to the City Council, Community Development Director Jessica Garrow wrote the current freeze on land-use applications in the city’s commercial districts precluded the restaurant from making the improvements, and adding the structures were done by bypassing design review and employee-mitigation requirements.
“Staff does not support the existing structure due to its impacts on the Commercial Core Historic District and finds it does not meet the requirements for temporary uses,” the memo said. “The structure’s primary materials do not reflect those traditionally found in the zone district, and obstruct the front door to the space.”
The structures, made of wood and metal, are awnings that provide shade for diners.
Garrow, while speaking to the council, added, “This is a pretty significant structure. I know it took them some time to put it up.”
The council, however, voted 4-1 to grant the temporary-use permit, so long as the owners clean up some messy wiring on the site.
“I would support the temporary use through the summer until October, and then it would have to be taken down,” Councilwoman Ann Mullins said, adding that “I support what you’ve done to the space.”
Likewise, Councilmen Adam Frisch and Art Daily said they appreciated the improvements, while Mayor Steve Skadron voiced support, as well.
Councilman Bert Myrin cast the dissenting vote, in part because he said it would create a “slippery slope.”
“I’m not comfortable approving this,” he said.
Had the council rejected the request, the restaurant would have been required to remove the structures today.
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