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Council denies CUP request for One More Club

Park Rapids City Planner Ben Oleson said owner Gregory Parsons may reapply for the conditional use permit with a different seating plan.

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The Park Rapids City Council, with City Administrator Angel Weasner (third from left) and Mayor Ryan Leckner (fourth from left), meets on May 24, 2022.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise
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The Park Rapids City Council on May 24 denied a conditional use permit (CUP) requested by owner Gregory Parsons to relocate his bar, One More Club, to 1012 Birch St. S.

The decision was tabled at the council’s April 26 meeting to give Parsons time to bring back additional information.

According to City Planner Ben Oleson, he talked with Parsons about the proposed conditions on a permit to operate the bar for up to 42 patrons, including additional parking to be added at the back of the building and a stormwater drainage plan.

Oleson said Parsons expressed a desire to change his application to seat only 21 patrons in the bar, which would allow him to operate using only the existing parking area at the front of the building.

Oleson advised the council of two options: first, to deny the original application to have 42 seats, and let Parsons submit a new CUP request for the 21-seat plan.

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“It’s a significant enough change that it really requires another process of the planning commission reviewing it and a public hearing,” Oleson said.

Council member Erika Randall said that if Parsons re-applies for a CUP, he should not be charged another application fee. Randall made a motion to approve the resolution to deny the current CUP request.

During discussion on the motion, Oleson clarified that seating capacity is a separate issue from occupancy, which is a fire code issue based on square footage.

Oleson also noted that the planning commission recommended a condition requiring one parking space for every two seats in the bar, and this exceeds the minimum in the city code that is based on square footage in the building.

Randall’s motion passed unanimously. Upon denial of the CUP, a large group of residents left council chambers without comment.

MORE RELATED COVERAGE:
The final reading of the city code update passed without discussion on June 14.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at rfish@parkrapidsenterprise.com or 218-252-3053.
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