Members of the San Marcos City Council affirmed prohibiting Zelicks Icehouse from having live, outdoor, amplified music during their Feb. 19 meeting.
The councilmembers voted 5-2 in favor of an appeal to Zelicks’ conditional use permit from Barry James and his wife Brenda Smith. Live outdoor music will no longer be allowed at the bar. Councilmembers Jude Prather, Place 2, and Ryan Thomason, Place 5, were the dissenting votes.
James and Smith own the Young Building across the street from the bar and appealed Zelicks’ conditional use permit because of concern about the high volume of noise during evenings.
Councilmembers first approved James’ appeal during the Jan. 15 meeting, sending the conditional use permit back to the Planning and Zoning Commission upon the request of Chairman Bill Taylor. The commission reapproved Zelicks’ permit with a 5-2 vote on Feb. 12. The city council still had the final vote, despite the bar receiving the commission’s approval.
Discussion lasted late into the night. Councilmembers initially debated whether Zelicks and neighboring business should agree upon allowing the bar to have live music on certain days of the week or a set number of times per year. The councilmembers ultimately decided to do away with live music altogether after 30 minutes of discussion.
Prather said it does not matter how many days Zelicks would be allowed to have amplified music because the city should not tell small businesses how to run their companies. He argued the compromise should be between the neighbors.
Councilman Wayne Becak, Place 4, made a motion to allow Zelicks to have outdoor amplified music under the condition the inn and bar mutually agree upon it. The city council denied Becak’s motion.
Councilwoman Kim Porterfield, Place 1, said she was not convinced Planning and Zoning commissioners understood allowing live music was part of the conditional use permit they approved during their Feb. 12 vote.
Zelicks owners Chase and Seth Katz received noise complaints in the past from the owners of neighboring Crystal River Inn, according to a Feb. 8, 2012 University Star article. The complaints led to a short-term renewal of their permit in December 2011. The Katz brothers came to a settlement in December with the bed and breakfast’s owners, Cathy and Mike Dillon. However, keeping the noise level down for Crystal River Inn was a concern for several residents during Tuesday’s citizen comment period.
Councilman John Thomaides, Place 3, considered Crystal River Inn during his vote. Thomaides said he does not want to do anything that would not allow the bed-and-breakfast to thrive.
Resident Nicci Harrison said during the citizen comment period she has enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at Crystal River Inn, her husband’s aunt’s home, since she moved to San Marcos in 1946.
“(The Crystal River Inn) is one of the only classy places left (in San Marcos),” Harrison said.
Harrison said she wishes Zelicks could become a place for “mature adults” in San Marcos to talk and interact, like Palmer’s Restaurant Bar and Courtyard.