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Riverwalck must abide by parking regulations

Published October 22. 2009 05:00PM

Short and to the point were members of Parryville Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday in regard to an appeal by Mark Stemler, owner of Riverwalck Restaurant. The restaurant is located along Route 248 in Parryville.

Zoning Hearing Board members Scott Snyder, Christine Applegate and Malcolm Campbell made the brief announcement that Stemler must abide by the zoning ordinance in regard to parking issues.

The board met Wednesday to reconvene the hearing concerning Stemler's appeal of Parryville Zoning officer Richard Fedor's notice that Stemler must provide more parking at his restaurant.

After listening to hours of testimony last month, the board asked to hold off making the decision until Oct. 21.

After everyone had testified last month, members had met in executive session and an announcement was made that both the applicant and the borough may choose to submit Finding of Fact documents by Oct. 13.

The initial hearing had started about a half-hour late because there were so many visitors that they all could not fit into the borough hall where the meeting was originally scheduled and the meeting was moved to the fire company hall to provide enough seating for the approximately 50 people in the audience.

While Stemler was quite vocal at the September hearing in regard to Parryville Zoning Ordinance requirements that he must provide one parking space for each 1.5 seats, he, his attorney Joseph Sebelin and his employees who filled the fire hall last month were absent Wednesday night.

The board's decision was that Stemler must abide by the Parryville Zoning Ordinance in regard to parking spaces and that his appeal was denied.

Stemler has been under a "stop work order" issued by Fedor to halt in construction of a large addition to Riverwalck Restauraut.

Fedor said he had begun enforcement proceedings against Stemler because of numerous parking complaints. Fedor said that on busy weekend nights, cars are parked all along Route 248 adjacent to the restaurant and were creating unsafe conditions..

During the previous meeting, Fedor had testified that when he reviewed a zoning permit that had been issued last year to Riverwalck, it noted enough parking for 91 seats, but during a recent evaluation he had counted 78 parking spaces or enough parking for 117 seats. But when he counted the seats in the restaurant, there were 217, which would require 145 off-street parking spaces or nearly twice as much parking.

Fedor had said his evaluation did not take into consideration the downstairs banquet hall that was under renovation.

Fedor had advised Stemler about a month before the initial hearing that he was in violation of the Parryville Borough Zoning Ordinance and that he would not process any more permits.

Stemler‚s legal representative, Att. Sebelin said last month that Riverwalck should be „grandfathered because a prior restaurant had served large numbers of people without any complaints about parking.

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