The Milford Planning and Zoning Board delayed a decision earlier this month on outdoor seating for the proposed Eli’s Restaurant at 21 Daniel St.
At an Aug. 6 meeting, members “denied without prejudice” the application’s patio stipulation, a move designed to allow Eli’s to reapply to the board with more details, according to meeting minutes.
The concrete patio is being proposed for the grassy area on the Café Atlantique side. A board member is cited in the minutes as saying there will be six tables.
The city of Milford owns the space being considered so Eli’s would have to enter into a lease agreement with the city to use the property. The introduction of that condition led to some uncertainty amongst members on the planning and zoning board.
Board member Jeanne Cervin said it was her impression that a previous board, in 2005, had approved a five-year lease for the same parcel of land Eli's has eyes on.
Board member Benjamin Gettinger said without a lease already
in place it would be unwise to approve the patio on city-owned public property,
which residents at a July public hearing argued should be left untouched. Gettinger proposed that Eli’s first secure an agreement with the city then come back to
City Planner David Sulkis said that’s not how it was done with Café Atlantique, though he didn’t know offhand the details of the deal with the café, which leases a portion of its patio from the city.
Sulkis said protocol calls for an applicant to submit the potential for full development to the planning and zoning board, but whether all the elements of a plan materialize is outside the jurisdiction of the board.
The city planner said regardless of how the planning and zoning board acts, the application still needs to be vetted and approved by the Milford Board of Aldermen, which ultimately has the final say.
In the end, it was decided that the “denied without prejudice” vote would allow time for the city property and lease agreement issue to be worked out and revisited.
Though the board did not OK Eli's for outdoor seating, members did grant special permit and site plan review approval for a full-service restaurant with three residential apartments. Details on those proposed changes can be read here.