Vinsetta Garage Doesn't Yet Reach Parking Peace with Berkley

January 07, 2020, 6:53 AM

A stretched-out dispute between a Woodward Avenue restaurant and its suburb's government isn't settled yet.

"The city of Berkley and Vinsetta Garage’s tried to reach an agreement Monday after parking issues stretched on for more than seven years, but could not," WDIV says.

Vinsetta Garage’s owners bought neighboring property to build parking lots. A lawsuit was filed against the city when it refused to rezone the area for parking.

Monday night, the Berkley City Council agreed to table a decision. The next meeting date has not yet been set, but due to a court ordered deadline, the decision has to happen in January or face a court hearing, according to the city's mayor.

Vinsetta Garage staff meeting last spring. (Photos: Facebook)

Under a pending agreement, the restaurant could create two vehicle lots by razing four homes it bought, Rod Meloni reports.

Restaurant owners would need to build two new houses and must have a wall separating the houses from the lots.

The six council members still want to hear from the city's planning commission input, resolve questions about the wall and settle other details.

"Both sides have to give up a bit, but given the array of options we had in front of us this is the best of the options," said city manager Matt Baumgarten.

Here's coverage by Jennifer Ann Wilson of WXYZ:

Original article, Monday morning:

For years, Berkley residents have battled the very popular Vinsetta Garage on Woodward Avenue, which has been pushing to convert property behind the restaurant into parking lots.

On Monday night, the city council will vote on a consent judgment reached in a 2017 lawsuit filed by co-owner Curt Catallo that allows the long-proposed parking lots, Susan Selasky of the Detroit Free Press reports. He owns homes and lots on two streets behind the restaurant, a hit since it opened in 2012. 

The Woodward attraction this season added seating inside a heated "igloo."

“To choose instead further to destroy a neighborhood to accommodate a single business makes no long term or city planning sense,” Oxford Street resident Tara Hayes tells the Freep in an email. “Worse, the city asked us to trust them and assured us they would protect our community, our homes, our interests. We were promised they would continue to fight for residents and other small businesses.“

“It gives a framework for resolving the issue,” City Manager Matthew Baumgarten tells the paper. “Ultimately, it has to be voted on by council Monday night.”

Parking has been an issue from the beginning. Customers often park on the sidestreets behind the restaurant, and some residents express displeasure directly to customers.

Read more:  WDIV

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