Cigar Smoking Harley Riding Challenge

So here we are sitting at City Council and finally the long very controversial item is finished. One Council member was pulled to the concept that a Short-Term Rental would be just fine in a very established neighborhood, but in the end the neighbors won and City Council denied the request. This same councilwoman thought that having the Tattoo shop open until 10pm in a quiet neighborhood surrounded by residences would be just fine also.

Short break, then our item comes up. And it will be controversial also. A new Tattoo shop wants to open in the building at the street in front of the house next to my home. They had requested staying open until 10pm. I Googled other Tattoo Parlors and found the ones on the Westside and downtown Colorado Springs mostly closed at latest 8pm, some at 7pm and one at 5pm. All are in commercial zones with other businesses around the shops. Some across town and in less respectful neighborhoods stayed open later.

The new owners came up and told the Council they had changed the hours requested to end at 7pm. Then it was interesting that the woman stated that the smoking area would be 400′-500′ from my homes door and this got quoted in the newspaper by the reporter. Very untrue. Makes me wonder how many other “promises” will not be followed through on as the year progresses. I use a 100′ hose to reach my garden area in front of my home. From that point if it is 100′ or at most 150′ to where the designated smoking area will be, I would be astounded.

They said they were buying two parking permits for a parking lot that is about 3 blocks away for their customers. Now I am not sure how that will work. The permit must be displayed in the vehicle, so the person has to get it, then take it to the vehicle, or somehow pick it up at the business then go park. Then later return it. She said she could offer “valet” service as she wouldn’t be doing the tattoo work. One council person suggested they might use the one parking space for a customer and have the other employee use the parking permit.

The landlord from across the street was very clear he had not received any notification and my mentioning this shop to him just two days ago while he was out of town had left him no time to research anything about it and that was why he was not at the Planning Commission meeting two weeks ago. He voiced concerns about traffic and the late hours proposed.

My roommate got up and talked. She was really not liking this business at all. Worried that there would be Harley’s revving motors, loud voices and cigarette smoke would drifting into her bedroom window at the front of the house when she was trying to sleep or wanting to relax on the front porch on summer evenings. She got into talking about things that had to do with them as renters of the home and directed some comments to the owners. The Mayor let her go off on a tangent for a short time, but the second time she addressed the owners and not the Council, he requested that she address comments to the Council. And he pointed out that anything to do with the rental of the home was not something that related to the Tattoo shop issue.

Later she told me she was very upset that when the woman had turned and said something short facing her, that the Mayor had not corrected her action. And she didn’t like the way the Mayor talked to her at all. Now, I have been at many a City Council meeting and this Mayor was very gentle addressing her and had let her talk off the topic for quite some time. I agreed with her that he should have corrected the other woman, but she had really only did a quick turn, not a long speech to us, and reminded her that she had gotten off the topic quite a bit and he had not stopped her talking about some issues unrelated to the Tattoo shop. She did not like it that I did not totally agree with her. She is still not over this and let me know by not talking to me and is about to leave on a long trip after a two day work schedule that she will not come home before she has to catch an early flight. It is her stuff, but not the most comfortable place to be right now. Still, not much I can do about it.

Back at Council. I actually hadn’t really heard the distance the woman mentioned, or thought I had misheard it, so didn’t address the smoking area distance from my home. I did talk about the fact that having people smoking in the area is a problem, but would see how well controlled this challenge is by the owners. I said this building and its parking area is on a blind curve. I have almost been t-boned by drivers who come around the curve in the 20 mph zone stepping on the gas. In fact that very day, I had had a close call, so I did not think having many different people using that parking area was a good idea. Especially since they would most likely be backing out trying to turn around across two lanes of unseen traffic. I mentioned I was concerned that strangers would be unsure about exactly where they were going, and could not only use my driveway to turn around in, or if walking, walk up to my home, so the late hours proposed, even the 7pm felt a bit unsafe for me and other people at my home. No other business in the area stays open that late and no other business is surrounded by residential properties on all four sides. Maybe a single home to one side, but none sit in the middle of residences.

The owners got up again. He said he smokes cigars and they live in the house next door, so not much I can do about that. And after she stated she also smoked Cigars, she very pointedly said that whoever will next rent the small cottage very close to my office and bedroom (about 4′ from that window) will have no noise or smoking restraints, so I should be aware there could be more challenges depending on who moves in there. She almost got a reaction out of me over that, but I held my tongue. Then she went on to tell us she rides a Harley and has no noise control on it. She wants people to hear her when she is riding so they won’t run over her. Told how in Florida people would drive right into the same lane she was in and she felt having a loud machine would help protect her more, but not totally.

Side note: Today when I was walking home in front of my home, a couple I did not recognize came towards me and the man said very pointedly “A motorcycle just went past.” Took me a moment to connect that he must have either been at Council or had been talking with the owners. And I wasn’t the person who talked about motorcycles at all that night. Had me a bit on edge for awhile. I really don’t like being at odds with my neighbors, but they are not making it easy.

Nor is my roommate gonna make this an easy situation. I do hope that none of her “fears” come to pass and it all goes smoothly starting in January when they open.

Did I mention in my last post that I had gone up to the MSAC meeting that I had to leave early. I had had a glass of wine, and was so glad I had, since it helped me stay more relaxed after this very challenging day.

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