The Dalhousie Community Association wishes to express serious concerns regarding the application for a rear deck.
The intent of the patio by-law is to protect residential areas from noise and disturbance. Norman St residents won't be so protected, as there is no fence and no significant solid or high obstructions between the restuarant and residenial uses. Since the deck is at a significant elevation above ground level, the sound of voices, chatter, and clinking glassware will carry easily to nearby residential properties which include families with children. The application fails that required test for a minor variance. If the patio would have an "adverse" effect then it is not "minor", another of the tests which must be met.
We note that the restuarant already has a front patio/verandah service area. When the multi-million dollar streetscaping project is completed this fall, there will be room to expand this patio area. The front area is better for a patio as it is the commercial/street side of the structure and it helps animate the street. The property next door, Pub Italia, has a large and busy front patio already. The DCA supports a larger LaRoma service area at the front as it would promote and complement the existing street life.
Should the CofA approve the rear patio, it should impose conditions requiring a sound-absorbing fence/railing, and measures to absorb sound at the deck level, such as a planter or hanging plants or roof trellis to help mitigate sound bouncing off the hard walls that are the building side of the patio. Additional tree planting between the parking lot and the lot line, especially along Norman, might also help.
Dalhousie Community Assoc.