Local restaurant frustrated with overflow parking from neighboring business

Local

A popular restaurant in Colorado Springs is worried about a potential new neighbor moving in and adding onto their issue of overflow parking in their lots.

“We kept a little quiet the first time but we don’t want to stay quiet this time, cause we know what is going to come,” said Dieter Schnakenberg, the general manager for Edelweiss.

Schnakenberg said the parking issue had been going on with their neighbors at Blue Star for over 15 years. Blue Star shut its doors in 2017, but Schnakenberg said while Blue Star was open, it was a constant dispute with original owner Joseph Coleman.

“We spent a good 15 years feuding with him over parking. He always had these parking problems and he never did anything to fix them,” said Schnakenberg.

Blue Star has since been changed into a small concert venue called The Side Door, still co-owned by Coleman according to new co-owner Marc Benning. Benning said as of now The Side Door only holds 100 concertgoers.

“We’re working towards a solution that will work. We just don’t want to come in and plop something that isn’t sustainable for all of us. We want to come in and solve the problem and if we can’t we will move elsewhere,” said Benning.

Benning said the large concert venue is just an idea and that is why they hosted the neighborhood meeting to hear everyone’s opinions.

“We’re working towards maybe a parking structure or we’re working with the city for a shuttle but we’re not that far along,” said Benning.

Schnakenberg said in the past they had Coleman’s customers booted or even towed if they were caught parking on their property.

“We started booting his cars and we asked him to pay a portion of the boot fees because we considered it his problem. He ended up coughing up a lot of money and was upset about that,” said Schnakenberg.

If the venue were to open, Schnakenberg said they will be hiring staff to keep people from parking in their area.

“We figured it roughly costs us about $50,000 a year to just staff someone to stand out there and nicely ask people to not park in there,” said Schnakenberg.

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