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Design board OKs countroversial Coupeville rezone

Pending a decision in a lawsuit challenging a jump across the street, Frank and Miriam Meyer are forging ahead with plans to relocate their business, Miriam’s Espresso, from the east to the west side of S. Main Street in Coupeville.

Last Tuesday, the town’s Design Review Board approved the Meyers’ site design plans for the new business, though not without conditions. The board asked that the Meyers opt for one of two chosen building colors, and that they change the landscaping plan on the southern border of their property.

In approving the Meyers’ design plan, the board essentially agreed that the plan fit adequately with the surrounding design character of the area.

The relocation currently is being challenged by the Oh Oh group, a citizen’s organization that is appealing the Coupeville Town Council’s decision to approve the relocation. Oh Oh says the council’s decision runs counter to a number of provisos in the town’s comprehensive plan, which regulates the rate and types of growth in town. The group objects to the property being approved for a commercial use.

Prominent among Oh Oh’s objections to the relocation is that the new building will obscure view of the town’s Big Rock, a glacial erratic of scenic and historic value. Some members have argued that a city or county park would better suit the property.

Town planner Larry Cort said Tuesday that the Meyers’ have opted to move ahead with getting approval on such things as design plan despite the current litigation. However, Cort added that he has informed the couple that a decision for Oh Oh could halt their progress.

“Should the appeal hearing somehow change the council decision, any work they do up to that point would have to cease,” Cort said.

Because the council formally approved the Meyers’ rezone request, the DRB was obligated to take action on the design plans for Miriam’s. No other applications have been submitted by the Meyers so far, Cort said.

The concern over the landscaping involved the southern border of the Meyers’ property. “What they had specified was bushy,” Cort said, adding that this might have proven unacceptable to the neighboring property owners. The conditional use approved was for a “more columnar, evergreen landscaping,” Cort said.

The Meyers were out of town and not immediately available for comment.

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