Proposed Mulligan’s in Sebastian gets planning green light

SEBASTIAN – With parking in place and an approved site plan, the proposed Mulligan’s Beach House at the former Flagship Marina is almost good-to-go to open before the end of the year.

Oculina Bank won unanimous support from the Sebastian Planning and Zoning Commission for proposed changes to the exterior of the restaurant and marina.

In exchange for the approval, representatives from the applicant agreed to add an extra handicapped parking spot on-site, remove the ability to have underground fuel tanks for boat refueling, and swap out one fence type for another.

A handful of Sebastian residents spoke out against the site plan, but not because of the proposed restaurant or marina.

Instead, they took issue with the parking agreement Mulligan’s and the bank signed with the City of Sebastian to waive 30 needed parking spots.

The council the night before approved the agreement and new parking rules to help not only Mulligan’s but any other business in the waterfront district.

The restaurant and marina, under city code, requires 72 parking spots. Only 42 can fit on-site. The restaurant owner, George Hart, has agreed to pay the city $96,000 for a 30-spot waiver.

Instead of providing 30 additional on-site parking spots for patrons, patrons can park in the public parking areas nearby.

Cleveland Street resident Lewis Gray told the commission that his road already packed with traffic – and suspects it would be even more so once the restaurant opens.

The city has plans to assess the parking needs in the waterfront district and could look to reconfigure some roads to accommodate more on-street parking.

Cleveland is one such road under consideration.

“Hopefully, there’s going to be enough parking for everyone,” Gray said.

Fellow city resident Thomas Lynch pointed out that the restaurant patrons who can’t find a parking spot on site would most likely take up the parking along the river’s edge.

“We really enjoy that,” Lynch said of the waterfront parking.

Growth Management Director Rebecca Grohall said that there should be no fear on the residents’ part that all public parking will be used for private businesses, though there will be some impact.

In the end, the Planning and Zoning Commission decided that the parking issue had already been addressed by the Sebastian City Council and that the commission’s task was to determine if the modified site plan meets current city codes.

Commission member Ed Dodd told his fellow members that he saw no reason to deny the site plan and recommended approval.

Other members asked for the extra handicapped parking spot, the modified fence plan and removal of the potential for underground fuel tanks.

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