Sports bar squabble heads to Zoning

Written by on February 15, 2012 in Featured, Neighborhood News - 1 Comment

Graceland Park residents and businesspeople are expected to turn out in force at a zoning hearing about a local bar.

They say that the Playbook Sports Bar in the 6700 block German Hill Road has become a nuisance to its neighbors.

TROUBLED SPOT-According to community leaders, a bar on German Hill Road near Dundalk Avenue needs to tone it down. Photo by Mary Helen Sprecher

The hearing, scheduled by the Baltimore City Board of Municipal Zoning and Appeals, will take place during the 5 p.m. docket on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The hearing was previously scheduled for Feb. 7, but was changed after community members complained that they would not be able to attend a daytime hearing because of business and personal considerations.

“If the neighbors [want] to voice their opposition they can only do it by mail or e-mail or take time off from work,” complained Celestine “Babe” Grabowski, president of the Graceland Park Community Association. “Things need to be changed so that the neighbors/community can come and be heard.”

Playbook Sports Bar applied for live entertainment and dancing, a privilege the community does not want to see granted because they say the bar is already causing trouble.

“I’m getting an unbelievable number of calls about that place,” says Grabowski.

Members of the community complain of trash, noise, trespassing and parking problems caused by the bar’s clientele.

Chuck Kaczorowski, owner of the Kaczorowski Funeral Home next door to the bar, complained in an e-mail to Playbook Sports Bar rep Will Matricciani of cars parking on the funeral home’s private lot, as well as “in ‘No Parking’ zones, across driveways, on the wrong side.” He also complained of heavy traffic circling the block looking for a place to park. He wrote that he had to be at the funeral home at midnight and was shocked at what he saw.

“…three guys were walking down German Hill Road from Bethlehem Avenue. They disappeared into a driveway, relieved themselves, then went into the bar. I am surprised the the neighbors are not storming the castle with torches and pitchforks,” Kaczorowski wrote to Matricciani. “ You SAY that there is security and I’m telling you there was NONE present. There are bigger problems than trash and bottles.”

The City of Baltimore recently changed its policy regarding live entertainment and dancing. While it previously was a privilege attached to an establishment’s liquor license, it now would be attached to the deed of the property, making it very difficult for communities to get the privilege revoked.

Matricciani, of Playbook Sports Bar, declined an interview for this story.

by Mary Helen Sprecher

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