The Auburn Zoning Board of Appeals voted Monday to grant a variance to the owner of a local bar to use a nearby vacant lot as a parking lot.
The Citizen reports allowing parking for O’Toole’s tavern on the lot at 118 Osborne St. could ease tensions between the bar and neighbors. O’Toole’s owner John “Jack” Voorhees currently leases city-owned land at 108 Osborne for parking, but the lot has room for only four cars, leading to overflow parking across the street at the McLoughlin Glass Co. lot. Neighbors say bar patrons routinely leave litter behind, damage property and leave the lot drunk.
Voorhees says he has an agreement to purchase the 118 Osborne property from current owner Patricia Cameron, if the parking lot is approved.
The variance was originally denied by the city Code Enforcement Officer and the board appeared set to oppose it as well, but Assistant Corporation Counsel Nate Garland told the board if the variance were not allowed, the business might not survive.
The matter now goes to the city Planning Board for site plan approval.
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