Lee’s Summit to review regulations for restaurant patios with soft-coverings

rpulley@lsjournal.comMay 8, 2013 

Lee’s Summit will be reviewing its regulations for tent-like structures added to restaurants to provide partial shelter outdoors, sometimes used for smokers.

The issue rose when the Lee’s Summit City Council was heaing a preliminary development plan for the La Fuente restaurant at 899 SW Lemans Lane which was asking the council to approve a vinyl structure attached to the restaurant. Staff explained it made an error approving the material so was asking for a council retroactive exception for the structure.

It was a case that applies only to that restaurant.

But given background on soft-sided structures that can be attached to permanent buildings, Councilmember Ed Cockrell questioned whether rules are tight enough.

“What I’ve heard is we can build tents in this community, as long it’s less than 25 percent of the current building, administratively approved and has some kind of fire retardant...?” he said.

The city’s Unified Development Ordinance permits city staff to approve such structures such as covered patios–if made of an approved material–if the expansion is less that 25 percent of the restaurants area, said Linda Tyrrel, deputy director of planning and development.

The plan for La Fuente was approved by a 5-2 vote with Cockrell and Kathy Hofmann voting no. It needed council approval because of the vinyl, a conditional material.

Councilmember David Mosby asked for a review of the ordinance to see if there are loopholes or opportunities for improvement. He noted there are some retailers also using large tent-like structures.

City Manager Steve Arbo said staff would prepare a report for the council on the current procedures and ordinance and then council members will decide if they want to undertake revisions.

In other action the council approved:

• a contract for nearly $2.2 million for curb and sidewalk replacement with Freeman Concrete Construction LLC.

• a contract for $876,786 for multiple sanitary sewer projects with Leath & Sons Inc.

• a transmission line relocation agreement between Kansas City Power & Light and the city to allow extension of Tudor Road between Douglas and Ward roads.

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