Planning ponders Prairie Pond patio proposal

The New Prague Planning Commission was presented with a conditional use permit request from Prairie Pond Vineyard and Winery, Inc., for an outdoor patio adjacent to the business.

Planning Director Ken Ondich explained at the commission’s Wednesday, Nov. 20, meeting that Prairie Pond Vineyard and Winery, 105 Main St. E, is currently in the process of completing a purchase agreement for the property next to it. The vacant lot at 107 Main St. E has been owned by the city since 1988 and is 5,789 square feet.

Mike and Bonnie Fullerton own the business and plan to convert the lot into an enclosed patio area for serving customers food and drinks. Access into and out of the area will be from a new door that will be built into the existing building. The patio will have approximately 12 tables for seating, a gas firepit, extensive landscaping and will feature a small waterfall.

Fencing along Main Street will be a four-foot tall wrought iron fence, a grape trellis inside the patio area will provide a four-foot buffer area to keep people from passing drinks into and out of the patio. To the north will be a six-foot tall privacy fence. Ondich said an emergency exit will be set up along the back fence, which will lead to the alley.

According to city ordinances, for a liquor establishment to serve alcohol in an outside patio, the area has to be enclosed.

Ondich said the city is in the process of establishing an easement on the east side of the property, for utilities that are located there.

He said city staff recommends approval of the request. The commission’s rec-ommendation will be forwarded to the New Prague City Council‘s Monday, Dec. 2, meeting.

During the public hearing, Steve Duban, owner of Flip- Side Pub & Grill, asked what was the price for the property and if there was a part of the ordinance where someone had to have visual contact of the customers at all times since it was an outside area with alcohol. Ondich replied that the price was still being negotiated and that the city didn’t have the provision for keeping an eye on customers.

Commissioner Jay Nuhring asked if the patio area was modeled after others or if it was the Fullertons’ own idea. Mike Fullerton said it was both, they came up with the idea for a patio and then looked at others.

The commission recommended approval of the request for a patio.