Sgt. John Rice VFW Post 6316 in Blaine is planning to add a new outdoor dining patio.
On June 21 the Blaine City Council unanimously approved a conditional use permit to allow the post, located at 1374 109th Ave. NE, to operate an outdoor dining area with 20 seats on the south side of the existing building. It will be located where there’s a smoking gazebo, which will remain.
The footprint of the patio is 18 1/2 feet by 45 1/2 feet. The patio will have general landscaping and asphalt.
There will be five tables with four seats each. The dining area will only be accessible from inside the building via the VFW’s current entrance, but there will be two emergency gates on the patio.
Blaine associate planner Shawn Kayne said in a report that a wrought iron fence will be located on the south and west side and a privacy fence on the west side.
According to requirements of the conditional use permit, any amplified music or public address systems that are used must be approved by the city and may not exceed normal conversation levels. No outdoor advertising on the building or patio area, including umbrellas, may be used without first obtaining a sign permit.
Kayne said the patio will take up four parking stalls, but that the VFW already has extra parking so he expects the patio will have little to no affect on parking.
The outdoor dining area will operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
A public hearing was held June 21. Post 6316 Cmdr. Randy Monson was the only person to speak.
“We’ve been shooting for this for the last four years, and then the COVID hit and we stopped,” he said. “We’ve been through a lot of triangles trying to get this through, and we finally got it through. Thanks to the Planning Commission for helping us do this. I hope it goes through, and we’ll do our best to keep the area safe.”
“I think you offer a good place,” City Council Member Richard Paul told Monson.
“We’re excited to move forward with this, and we look to help support you in any way we can,” Mayor Tim Sanders said to Monson. “We thank everyone for their service, and a patio is the least we can do to say thank you for all that you’ve done for us.”