Louisville leaders approve already built beer garden for owners who jumped the gun
LOUISVILLE — The order of operations for building out a new business typically goes something like this: An owner brings plans to city staff for review, those plans are approved by elected or appointed officials, permits are issued and construction starts.
That wasn’t the case at Rocky Mountain Tap and Garden, which wrapped up construction of its new beer garden in the parking lot outside of the eatery and brewpub before building permits were ever issued.
The Louisville City Council issued a 12-month temporary use permit for the beer garden on Courtesy Road in the Delo neighborhood on Tuesday in an effort to clean up the mess for the business ownership group, which city planners said was confused by Louisville’s entitlement process.
“We gave them the benefit of the doubt” that the applicant was acting in good faith and was genuinely flummoxed by the process rather than attempting to skirt the rules, Louisville senior planner Elizabeth Kay Marchetti said.
Louisville Mayor Ashley Stolzmann said she “can understand what happened in this case” — that it could be easy to get confused when a restaurant and bar with an outdoor patio is already approved on the site but a simple flat surface with tables and lights (essentially what the beer garden comprises) is not.
Still, the company’s actions raised the ire of some members of the Louisville City Council.
“I’m very, very concerned that a business in the community went and did whatever it wanted to do,” Councilwoman Maxine Most said. “I’m very uncomfortable with the standard that sets.”
In an effort to remain focused on the temporary use application issue at hand Tuesday, Louisville officials steered away from a broader discussion of business owners making building improvements without permits. But that conversation will likely occur at a future meeting or study session as Kay Marchetti said the Rocky Mountain Tap and Garden situation is “not necessarily an anomaly in the city of Louisville.”