Board rejects French Meadow’s parking lot plan

The Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association voted down a proposal for a temporary parking lot on the former Rex Hardware site

French Meadow Bakery and Café’s plan to turn the former Rex Hardware site into a surface parking lot was rejected by the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association [LHENA].

Restaurant co-owner Steve Shapiro came to the Feb. 20 LHENA Board of Directors meeting seeking support for a plan to pave the vacant lots located at 2601 and 2607 Lyndale Ave. S. It would create the parking required for French Meadow’s plan to convert a portion of its restaurant building across the street into an event center.

Under city code, the two empty parcels would need to be rezoned to C4 from C1 to match the zoning of the event center space.

Shapiro said the parking lot would be an interim use and that ultimately the goal was to redevelop the former Rex Hardware site. The redevelopment would likely include parking, he said.

But LHENA board members expressed discomfort with both parts of Shapiro’s plan. A majority did not want to see a surface parking lot at a major neighborhood intersection, and many said they were uneasy with up-zoning the parcels to C4, the most intense commercial zoning level.

The former Rex Hardware site is actually located in the Whittier neighborhood, and Shapiro also planned to present his plan to the Whittier Alliance. That neighborhood group’s executive board meets next on Feb. 28.