Yes! It is Full Swing Ahead or maybe Fool Steam Ahead lol… There are many things happening all around Swing Kat right now. I just learned yesterday that our old Ballroom On High will not be sold to Jamey’s House of Music as was our old landlord’s plan. He called me and asked if we might be interested in returning. At this point I am not sure if we can or if that is even a good idea. But I will remain open to all ideas to make sure dancing has a future in our region.
This past Saturday I received word from the Codes Official concerning the property we are looking to purchase. The word was that we were denied the USE we were seeking on the building. We were denied based on the fact that the building currently has NO parking and by code would require 80 parking spots. Interestingly enough, this property has been used for Entertainment/Recreation for the past 150 years. We are not seeking to change the USE of the building, we are looking to use it the same way it has been used since it was built. However, when it comes to the issue of parking our USE has not been grandfathered in. This may seem like a big problem however we were expecting to have this problem before applying for the permitted USE. So now we steam ahead.
So, the next step for us is to have a variance hearing on this matter of parking so that we may get past it and have the USE this building was truly built for. Now code requires 80 parking spots. I have measured out the property and have found that we can put in 22 to 30 spots behind the building. Though the street has plentiful parking within a block of this location, we must have 80 spots off-street according to code. Now at a hearing we may be able to get permitted USE by just simply providing 22-30 spots on our property because that is what a variance hearing is all about. It is about not meeting the requirements but making an argument as to why you should be allowed to have your desired USE. However, we may have another ace in the hole. There is a church very close by that may be willing to give us use of their parking lots of over 60 spaces. So, this parking variance hearing is feeling pretty good to me. It is full swing ahead if this is our biggest hurdle! However, there could be more issues.
Monday we hired on an architect to walk through the building and study the code for us. He should see the building the middle of this coming week. He will then be able to tell us what other hurdles may be in our path. If you remember last summer, the building we were looking at in Pottstown 2 blocks from our old location got to this same point. I called on an architect and learnt that we would need a $100T sprinkler system. Unfortunately that could also be a possibility here though it would cost much less in this building. However other possibilities loom such as Handicap access & baths, the addition of more baths for crowd size and then the possibility of the street sewer hook-up not being sufficient to handle these extra baths. I know this sounds like a lot, it is but don’t lose hope! If the hurdles are something we can overcome, we will continue not fool steam ahead but FULL SWING AHEAD!
Stay Tuned for more!