The future of a local bar continues to be disputed after concerned neighbors appealed the venue’s recently renewed conditional use permit at the Jan. 15 San Marcos City Council meeting.
Barry James appealed the permit because of concern over the volume of the live music at Zelicks Icehouse. James and his wife Brenda Smith own the Young Building across the street from the bar, where they practice law. City councilmembers approved James’ appeal with a 6-1 vote, sending the permit back to the Planning and Zoning Commission, upon request of Chairman Bill Taylor.
The permit was unanimously renewed at the Dec. 11, 2012 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting for three years, according to, director of Planning and Development Services. The permit allows Zelicks to continue selling mixed beverages at its Hopkins Street venue but was renewed after the Planning and Zoning commission added a clause stating no live amplified music will be allowed after 11 p.m.
Chase Katz, who owns Zelicks with his brother Seth Katz, said the bar rarely has live music. All parties agree only two instances of live music have occurred. Despite this, James and Smith say their building has been disturbed by the live music at the bar.
“They are not bad neighbors,” James said. “But once they get so loud, you just can’t hear yourself think. We have residents living above the office, and when we are here working late, it’s frustrating when all you can hear is the music.”
Smith said Hopkins Street is not a good location for a venue like Zelicks.
The Katz brothers have received noise complaints in the past from the ownership of neighboring Crystal River Inn, which led to a short-term renewal of their permit in December 2011, according to a Feb. 8, 2012 University Star article.
The Katzes came to a settlement with the bed and breakfast’s owners, Cathy and Mike Dillon, in December. The agreement required all music to be turned off by 2 a.m. The bar relocated its motorcycle parking spaces from the fence shared by the businesses to the North side of the Zelicks property. Its outdoor games, such as horseshoes and bocce ball, were moved away from the inn.
James said he and his wife were not a part of the mediation process between Crystal River Inn and Zelicks.
Cathy Dillon said during the city council meeting that she took the settlement because outside parties told her it was the best possible deal. Additionally, she was still concerned about live music disturbing her patrons.
“City staff thought they were protecting us by not allowing bands from 11 o’clock to two in the morning,” Cathy Dillon said. “But the unintended consequence of doing this is now making it appear they were permitted to have live bands up until 11 p.m. any night, which is not okay.”
Chase Katz said he and his brother paid for insulation for the inn and Plexiglas for their windows. He said overall they spent an estimated $10,000 for improvements, including moving their fences and games.
“We spent a lot of time and effort mediating between Crystal River Inn, which we’ve come to an agreement (with), which is super important, and that’s what we wanted,” Chase Katz said.
Zelicks’ permit may be on the Planning and Zoning Commission’s agenda for their Feb. 12 meeting. The current three-year permit will be in place until the board reaches a decision.
“It has taken a toll on Seth and I,” Chase Katz said. “I think it’s going to be a while before this is all resolved.”
— Nancy Young contributed to this report