Conway City Council wants more discussion on restaurant’s request to close alley for outdoor dining

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – Conway City Council delayed action Monday afternoon on a request by a local restaurant to temporarily close an alley so it could be used for outdoor dining.

The owners of the Trestle Café at 308 Main Street want to use Norman Alley in a shared-space agreement with the city, but council members put the request on hold to allow time for more discussion and for other businesses affected by the decision to weigh in on the decision.

The council did approve a request for shared space for Groucho’s Deli, located at 219 Laurel St., which is has been making use of city space for outdoor dining and pickup during the pandemic.

“Groucho’s was easy,” Councilman William Goldfinch said. “No other businesses are impacted. This is a little more complicated.”

Before council’s decision to delay the Trestle Café’s request, Marshall McMillian, who owns several properties on Main Street and Norman Alley, raised several concerns about closing the alley, including the possible loss of several parking spaces.

“We think the people that benefit from the alley now ought to have some voice in what happens to Norman Alley,” he said.

Terry Bedell, Trestle Café’s general manager, assured McMillian and council that no parking spaces would be lost.

“We’re trying to make it so people want to come to Conway,” he said. “I really don’t feel that closing the section along our building is going to hurt the alley. You’re still going to have access. You can come in the back way.”

In other action Monday afternoon:

-City council approved the first reading of an amended ordinance pertaining to landscaping and buffer requirements for standalone parking lots in areas of the city zoned as professional and neighborhood commercial districts.

-Council also approved the first reading of an amended ordinance that would permit commercial short-term rental properties provided certain conditions are met.

-Council also approved first reading of an ordinance to annex .27 acres at 101 Clemson Road into the city, with officials citing no additional strain on city services. However, the council rejected two other similar requests – .74 acres at 3026 Raspberry Lane and 4.18 acres at 67 Frail Lane — because of potential problems with access by the city’s solid-waste department. All of the properties are currently in Horry County.

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