Julia D'Elia said she simply wants to create a comfortable first-floor wine bar for her regular customers, most of whom live in the neighborhood.
But a request for a parking variance at Hausfrau Haven, her German Village carryout, has upset some of her neighbors, who said they fear the project will bring in more customers and make a tight parking situation worse.
Columbus City Council Dec. 17 tabled D'Elia's request for the variance and urged her to smooth things over with nearby critics of her plan. The variance would give her a break on six spaces at Hausfrau Haven, 769 S. Third St.
D'Elia argues she's merely moving the bar from the basement to the first floor, making it easier on some of her older patrons. She said there is plenty of on-street parking and most of her regulars live within walking distance.
But Ronald Remy, who lives on South Third not far from the store, disagrees.
"Plainly and simply, we have issues now," he said.
Remy said it's not uncommon for him to park a block and a half from his home.
"You might not want to go out, especially if you're carrying something, because a spot might not be open when you get back," Remy said.
Heidi Drake, who also lives near Hausfrau, said D'Elia did herself no favors by beginning work on the bar, only to have the city halt the construction because she didn't have the proper permits. "That didn't feel very neighborly," Drake said.
D'Elia said she, in fact, sent out a letter notifying her neighbors but no one came forward.
"We tried to reach out to communicate with them, but no one responded to the letter," she said.
D'Elia said she is not creating additional floor space.
In fact, she said, the proposed bar is 10 seats, whereas the basement bar has 14 chairs. She said she has had the wine-tasting license for more than a decade, but recently upgraded it to include up to 6-ounce servings.
D'Elia said she has even agreed to limit the so-called tasting hours to from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
D'Elia said she also has dedicated parking for renters of three units above her shop and the 24-hour Laundromat next door.
Kristin Rosan, D'Elia's attorney, said the German Village Commission over the summer gave the project conditional approval.
Some of those stipulations, however, were not authorized by the city.
So, Hausfrau Haven has drafted a good-neighbor agreement in hopes residents will support the project.
Drake said she'd be supportive of D'Elia's plans if the city would incorporate permit parking on the street.
Columbus City Council has tabled Julia D'Elia's request for the variance at Hausfrau Haven