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Brentwood Planning Commission Approves The Yard

by CC News
The Yard

A new destination restaurant is coming to downtown Brentwood after the Planning Commission unanimously approved The Yard.

The project moves forward with no opposition after the commission voted 4-0 Tuesday and the city received more than 60 emails/public comments in support of the project.

On Tuesday, the Brentwood Planning Commission approved the design review application for The Yard—an indoor/outdoor restaurant located at 200 Oak Street. The applications were Starboard Hospitality Group LLC (Alyssa and Anthony Roost) have applied for a Design Review Application which includes:

  • converting the former service bays and office/cashier area into a new kitchen, bar, and dining room
  • constructing a 33-square-foot addition to the side and rear of the existing building to accommodate larger ADA-compliant restrooms
  • converting the former gas pump island/canopy area and adjoining drive aisles into an outdoor dining and family games area

The proposed modifications to the existing building will maintain its architectural styling, while the site improvements will replace the existing asphalt paving on the front half of the property with artificial turf, bench seating, and outdoor games (corn hole, oversized chess/checkers, etc.)

The hours of operation are 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, though outdoor lighting will only be provided along the building exterior and under the front canopy, thereby limiting most of the outdoor seating area to daylight hours only.

The Yard

The Yard posted this image upon receiving approval from the planning commission.

Planning Commission Meeting Recap:

Vice Chairperson David Sparling did ask if there were any gasoline storage drums still left on the property. Staff said the last underground storage tanks were removed from the site in 1988 while the regional water control board issued a letter of no further action required as of 2016 (a closure letter—a clean bill of health).

Sparling also asked about no alcohol permit required which was clarified as being due to the downtown specific.

Alyssa Roost addressed the commission and explained how they came up with the concept.

“Anthony and I have owned an operated four successful bars and restaurants since 2016, two of which are located in Brentwood at the Streets of Brentwood, Attraversiamo and Vine+Grain,” explained Alyssa Roost. “We are good at what we do and are well versed in what we are doing. A huge piece of why we came up with The Yard is we are parents of a intelligent, vibrant, beautiful 3-year-old boy and anytime we go out eat, even at our own restaurants, we can never finish a meal, its where it truly came from. Whether its that he wants to walk around, play with his cars, or just throw a bean bag, we are rushing every meal we have together.”

She continued stating they combined all the components of Attraversiamo and Vine+Grain and turn it into a family friendly concept, they could finally finish a meal. She also stated they wanted the building design to stay the same while they add in the fence, turf and picnic areas.

“We are urging you to approve this design because the data is showing the Brentwood community wants a location like this to come to life,” stated Roost. “I am born and raised here and recognize the value of a space that people can gather at before Liberty Football game or the farmers market or a concert in the park. But those should not be the only days to drive people downtown,  there should be more destinations for families to gather and be together.”

Chairperson Anita Roberts shared she liked the idea of the community coming together and supporting the project as she stated they had more than 30 public comments submitted in favor of the project.

Staff clarified stating 60 emails have been received and all in support—including 4 emails during the meeting.

Commissioner Sparling called The Yard project straight forward.

“It fits the downtown specific plan,” said Sparling. “Since I have been on the planning commission, this is probably one of the more straight forward decisions for us I think as a group.”

Commissioner Gerald Johnson called it a good opportunity to provide something different and more activity downtown.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Johnson.

Commissioner Rod Flohr cautioned the applicant had posted an advertisement for members of the community to come out and support them, but when calling for public support, it could create the impression that there is some kind of controversy with your project or someone was opposing the project.

Flohr explained he was a big supporter of public comments but didn’t want people upset or worked up unnecessarily trying to kill a project.

“I love this project, I think its great for downtown,” said Flohr. “I don’t see anything wrong with it, I think its awesome.

The design review was approved by the planning commission in a 4-0 vote.

Background information on the Project.

Outdoor Dining Area

The proposed outdoor seating will consist of picnic tables and custom benches constructed from heavy 2×6 redwood boards, with heavyweight cantilevered umbrellas constructed of power-coated aluminum and high-density fabric with an anti-UV coating. Though artificial, the proposed turf that will cover most of the paved area at the front and sides of the building will help to bring a family picnic-like feel to the outdoor dining area that is reminiscent of Brentwood’s small-town character, particularly with the addition of outdoor games that are proposed for the space.

The outdoor dining area will be enclosed by a 37-inch tall horizontal redwood board fence, which will include and expand upon the existing perimeter fencing adjacent to the sidewalk. This fencing will also be reviewed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for compliance with their standards for outdoor dining areas.

Staff supports the overall design for the outdoor dining area as it will complement the surrounding area while helping to activate the connection between the Downtown Core retail area and City Park.

History on the project Site:

According to the staff report, the site was originally operated as an automobile service station from the 1940s until the early 1970’s, when it was converted into a tire and brake service shop (the current building replaced an older service station in the early 1960s). The tire and brake shop then occupied the site until 2001. Thereafter, the property continued with a variety of commercial retail uses and, at times, remained vacant. The most recent previous tenant was a small pop-up market, Spinola Station, which closed in the first half of 2023.

In 2019, the Planning Commission approved a Design Review application for a new three-story commercial building that would have covered almost the entire site. While considerably larger in scale than the surrounding area, the design was consistent with the goals, policies, and development regulations of the Specific Plan, which requires new development to be between two and four stories high, built out to the sidewalk, and generally more urban in form. The proposed building was never constructed, however, and the previous Design Review approval expired in July 2022. The current owners purchased the site in August 2023.

The former service station building is currently vacant; however, the site occasionally hosted mobile food vendors on the weekends and evenings through the 2023 holiday season. The owners are currently performing a partial interior demolition of the building to prepare it for future reuse, and to determine the location and condition of existing infrastructure (structural members, plumbing, wiring, etc.).

Project Narrative: Click here
Project Plans: Click here

Note – Alyssa and Anthony Roost are the owners of  Attraversiamo and Vine+Grain at The Streets of Brentwood.

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1 comment

Hack March 20, 2024 - 7:45 am

Rod Flohr is such a hack. This guy is the only person who can take something like this and complain about people rallying the troops for support. What a hypocrite as he and his alliance buddies frequently lie and mislead Brentwood on nearly every development project.

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