The Three Amigos restaurant in the Shops at Walton Parkway will not have a patio any time soon.

The Three Amigos restaurant in the Shops at Walton Parkway will not have a patio any time soon.

The New Albany Planning Commission on Jan. 19 denied the request for a patio after representatives of the applicant, Jeanne Cabral Architects, failed to provide information that was requested and did not attend the meeting.

Chair Neil Kirby, Brad Shockey and new member Joe King were present and voted to deny the request. Ray Silverstein and David Wallace were absent.

The commission had been tabling the issue each month because if members took it off the table and voted against it for lack of information, the applicant would have had to reapply and pay the filing fee to have the issue brought before the commission again.

Shockey said Jan. 19 that the commission should not table the application indefinitely.

"I personally don't see a reason to table this thing and leave it open forever," he said. "I suggest we vote on the application and either approve or deny it."

The village most recently attempted to contact Jeanne Cabral Architects with a certified letter for which someone had signed, said village planner Michelle Murphy.

"I requested an appearance (by the applicant) for the application to move forward," Murphy said.

She said she did not receive a response.

Murphy said she spoke with representatives of Jeanne Cabral Architects several times throughout the last six months and determined there were issues between the architecture firm and the client, the Three Amigos restaurant, owned by Martin Garcia.

Calls to Garcia were not returned by ThisWeek's press time Jan. 25.

The initial staff report on the patio application, completed in June 2010, requested more information from the applicant. The information was never received, Murphy said.

The concrete patio was supposed to be created through the addition of 700 square feet to the north and east sides of the building. It would allow for an additional 66 seats.

The patio area is allowed within the zoning district and, although it would reduce the landscaping on site and increase lot coverage to 75.3 percent, it still would be permissible in the zoning district, according to the staff report.

However, by adding the additional seating, three parking spaces also would have to be added, which was never addressed by the applicant in the past six months.

Murphy said village staff members also asked for a fence design since the patio was to be surrounded by a three-foot black iron fence, as well as samples of lighting that would be installed on the patio. No information was provided for those requests, either.

The patio application was first submitted in June, when the restaurant was named Don Patron Mexican Restaurant. That same month, Don Patron was shut down after an undercover New Albany police officer set up a drug deal through the assistant manager. Several restaurant employees were arrested, and some were identified as potential illegal immigrants and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Garcia reopened the restaurant in August as Three Amigos. However, it caught the attention of local law-enforcement officials again when an automobile accident in the parking lot involved a potential illegal immigrant working at the restaurant. Local police turned the employee over to ICE. As a result, village council voted Dec. 7 to contest the establishment's liquor license.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

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