Kirkwood Bar & Grill Reflective Windows Case Rescheduled For March 12

Bar owner files separate appeal on liquor license denial.

David Johnson, the embattled owner of the in Kirkwood, has had his hearing regarding his use of reflective tinting rescheduled for the second time.

Speaking Monday in Atlanta Municipal Court before Chief Judge Crystal A. Gaines, Johnson said he could not proceed because his attorney, Alan I. Begner could not attend the proceeding.

The case centers on Johnson's use of reflective tinting in the windows of the bar at 1963 Hosea L. Williams Dr. NE.

Neighbors, who have had a host of problems with Johnson, leading to longstanding row between him and the neighborhood, say it violates city codes regulating commercial districts:

    • Section 16-32.015. Relationship of building to street.
      • 7. Fenestration: a) All street-fronting sidewalk level development, with the exception of churches and fire stations, shall provide fenestration for a minimum of seventy-five (75) percent of the length of the frontage, beginning at a point not more than three (3) feet above the public sidewalk, for a height no less than ten (10) feet above the sidewalk. Fenestration for commercial uses shall allow views into the interior or display windows and shall not have painted glass, reflective glass or other similarly treated fenestration.

The reflective tint doesn't allow a view of what's going on inside, opponents say. It also violates the bylaws that govern Kirkwood Station, the mixed-use residential and commercial development where the Kirkwoood Bar & Grill is an anchor business, they charge.

The case was originally scheduled for a January hearing but was shifted to Feb. 27, because the code enforcement officer could not attend.

Gaines rescheduled the case to 8 a.m. March 12.

Separately, Johnson's attorney filed an appeal in Fulton County Superior Court late last week to overturn Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's decision to .

Reed denied the license in January following a cacophony of opposition from Kirkwood residents who claimed Johnson had repeatedly violated codes governing his temporary liquor license as well as Kirkwood Station's bylaws and that the bar caused a number of crime-related issues.

Reed's denial is noteworthy because such actions are rare in Atlanta, which has nearly 2,000 active liquor license-holding stores, bars and restaurants.

Begner, Johnson's attorney, has said Reed's rejection was based on subjective, non-quantifiable reasons, rather than objective measures.

The appeal also comes as the Atlanta City Council empanelled 15 civic and business leaders as well as lawyers, to conduct a thorough review of the city's .

They are charged with developing a list of recommendations by the end of the year that balance communities' desire to have their input and concerns taken seriously with the interests of businesses and applicants — all while complying with the law.

Hard March 01, 2012 at 10:48 PM
"We're from the government and we're here to help." Yeah right. Hide your wallets and kiss your freedoms and liberties goodby.
Johnson McDonald March 02, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Things would be different if this gentleman was a big political donor or relative of an official. Nothing good goes on behind closed doors or reflective glass.


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