The effort by the partners of Lloyd Taco Factory to open their third location – on Elmwood Avenue – is still facing resistance, this time related to the plans for extra-high fences designed to mute the sound coming from a proposed outdoor patio.
Lloyd, with McGuire Development Co. as its owner's representative and Lauer-Manguso Associates as the architect, is proposing to completely gut and remodel the former Cecilia's Restaurant at 716 Elmwood Ave., while significantly expanding the patio and bringing a natural-gas-fed fire pit and live music on weekends. But the plan for outdoor music has proven controversial.
A key part of Lloyd's latest plan for a new Taco Factory – live music on the outdoor patio on Elmwood Avenue – may run afoul of longstanding city policies.
The proposal includes a 10-foot-tall and three-inch-thick metallic sound-absorbing fence along a neighboring building, to mitigate the sound from outdoor equipment in a manner similar to what is used at Fenway Park in Boston, the company said. Decorative six-foot fencing is also planned along Elmwood at two ends of the patio, stretching for 22 feet, to screen the bands and a stationary food truck. However, the city's Green Code restricts fencing there to four feet in height.
Elmwood Village resident Daniel Sack, who said he has been "an audio professional" for 50 years, said he didn't think the sound-absorbing fencing would help protect the residents of nearby homes, and urged the board to table the proposal until Lloyd could prove the variance is justified. He also said the property's previous owner had violated city code by expanding its own outdoor dining and allowing live music without city permits.
But Lloyd's attorney, Mitchell Stenger, dismissed Sack's comments, saying he "does not live in this immediate neighborhood," and suggested that his criticisms and citing of city code do not apply to this case. Stenger said the code allows for "ancillary entertainment" at restaurants "without prior approval," as long as the venue lacks a permanent stage.
"We're doing nothing of the sort," Stenger said. "We're not going to charge. It's subordinate to the restaurant. All we're trying to do is have some fun on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays."
However, the ZBA tabled the proposal because Lloyd had not presented samples of the fence material.