When it comes to parking variances in German Village, just "how much is too much?" has not been clearly defined.

When it comes to parking variances in German Village, just "how much is too much?" has not been clearly defined.

But villagers could get a sense of what's to come later this summer when two restaurant proposals go before the city of Columbus.

Both Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant and Rockmill Brewery are looking to expand operations in the village.

Schmidt's wants to add seating and an elevated patio at its current site at 240 E. Kossuth St.

Rockmill, a Lancaster-based brewery, wants to build a tavern at the Juergens German Bakery site at 525 S. Fourth St.

Both requests have sparked concerns from residents, who complain that available parking is becoming more scarce and noise from restaurants and bars can reach a fever pitch well into the night.

In each case, the restaurant's owners have agreed to secure parking off-site.

Geoff Schmidt, owner of the iconic German Village restaurant, said he will move forward with plans to expand, despite receiving a "disapproval" vote from the German Village Commission last week.

The Commission May 3 unanimously recommended the city not approve a variance that would have allowed Schmidt's to sidestep providing 24 on-site parking spaces required by city code.

Because the commission's vote is not binding, the request will go to Columbus City Council.

Yet, if it passes, it will return to the commission for architectural approval.

Commissioners expressed concern over the cumulative effect parking variances have had on the neighborhood.

"I do believe this site has reached a tipping point," commissioner Mark Ours said.

Schmidt's, 240 E. Kossuth St., wants to build an elevated, or rooftop, patio and reconfigure the interior to add more seating.

The request comes as Rockmill Brewery is fending off criticism of its desire to build a tavern on Fourth Street.

At a raucous Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment meeting last week, where residents were reprimanded for their repeated outbursts, representatives of Rockmill agreed to seek a smaller patio, which would require fewer parking spaces.

Rockmill owner Matt Barbee is recasting his plans for the German Village site and will also try to open a brewpub in the Brewery District.

Barbee also must return to the German Village Commission for architectural review.

Chris Boring, a local retail analyst, said the situation in German Village is a vexing one.

On one hand, it is among the most expensive housing in the city, "so folks moving in there expect to have parking and things that other neighborhoods might take for granted."

Yet, the mixed-use nature of the neighborhood attracts a lot of people, Boring said.

"First of all, I think, one of the charms of living in German Village is that a lot of retail and restaurants are mixed in with the neighborhood, so when you turn a corner you might discover a shop or little cafe," he said. "It's very European in that sense."

One solution would be to build parking structures, such as garages, "but German Village is so landlocked I don't know where you'd put them," Boring said.