Gov't

Just the Facts- Extra Innings

By  | 

In the May 5th edition of CentralSpeaks.com the facts of the rezoning request coming before the Central City Council for a sports bar were presented.  In the May 12th edition of this same newspaper the results of the City Council meeting were detailed.  The Council, by a 3 to 2 vote, approved the rezoning to C-AB-2 with the stipulations that at least 20% sales be derived from food and non-alcoholic beverages, and the name of the establishment not include the name “Wildcatz”.  In theory, this rezoning case has been completed.  However, issues have now been raised which attempt to call into question the rezoning process in this case.  So, in the spirit of full disclosure and in an effort to make sure everyone is equipped with all of the available information, here are …. Just the Facts.

There is a misconception that the Council approved a sports bar named “Extra Innings,” when that trade name belongs to someone else.  The fact is that the Central City Council, in a rezoning case, does not “approve” the name of a business, it merely decides whether the physical location will be rezoned as requested by the applicant.  In this case, the Council did exercise its right to add a stipulation to the rezoning wherein the applicant agreed not to use the word Wildcatz in its name. 

There is also a concern that a check of the Louisiana Secretary of State’s corporations database shows that “Extra Innings” is already a trade name of a bar and lounge in New Orleans and therefore is not available.  The fact is that the applicant has since been granted, by the Louisiana Secretary of State, the use of the name “Extra Innings Sports Bar & Grill”.

It does appear that the original application to have this case brought before the city was signed only by the property owner and not by the business owners.  The fact is, CentralSpeaks.com does not have a staff attorney.  In an effort to obtain the facts we spoke with the applicants and the property owner, and we inquired at the permit office as to whether the lack of the signature of the business owners would compromise the rezoning process.  We were assured by all parties that everyone was in full agreement that the intent of all parties was clear, despite the lack of the signature, and that the entire public process of advertising the rezoning and holding the hearings was adhered to in all aspects.  Two additional events are to be noted in this process.  First, while the business owners appear not to have signed the application, they did sign the personal check bearing their names in the amount of $675.00 which was given to the permit office along with the application.  Second, Councilman Washington is to be commended for identifying the lack of the signature and for seeing to it that the business owners signed the application in the presence of the City Council during the meeting and prior to the Council’s vote.

Lastly, there is the issue of the compromise requiring a 20% sales volume from food and non-alcoholic beverages.  Concern has been expressed that this compromise is unenforceable.  Again, without a staff attorney, CentralSpeaks.com has gone back to the recording of the Council meeting for legal advice.  When asked whether this modified rezoning could be considered, city attorney Sheri Morris stated “If the applicants are willing to agree to stipulations…then that can be presented to the Council and considered by the Council.”

The final “fact” that everyone in Central should consider is that there are very few, if any, absolutes when it comes to legal matters.  The conclusions reached in our efforts to present the facts here can indeed be interpreted differently by other people. CentralSpeaks.com takes no stand as to whether there should be a bar in Central or whether this rezoning process was perfect.  The intent of this article is not to argue legalities, but instead to inform.  In this article you have read what the Central City Council actually approved, what the Secretary of State actually allowed, what the parties to the rezoning process actually intended, and what the City of Central’s attorney actually said.  These are…Just the Facts.

11 Comments

  1. Just Brenda

    May 25, 2010 at 12:01 am

    yea back to the sport bar— i was hating haveing to go back 8 pages to see a new vent. U are doing a good job with the paper, some facebook clans are trying to trash your efforts but- without your paper we only had what woody felt was a big hip hip hurry central. I have found his paper to be more news worthy now that yours is available, he is not such a cheerleader anymore!!! both of your papers are bring the issues to the people… but i still give you the credit for making that happen- great job centralspeaks!!!

  2. Just Brenda

    May 25, 2010 at 12:02 am

    going out of town for the summer- keep those meeting posted and updated- i will miss being there

  3. Sharon

    May 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Agree keep up the good work i like the NEW paper it reports the facts and lets everybody think for them selves not like Brand X and his cronies.-THANK YOU! Whats the big hoop-la anyway?? Nobody fought Sammys Grill when it came to be and its got a bar!!!!! Blackies and Our Place have a bar!!!! Central is growing folks business in moving in and yes places that serve alcohol included. Its is your personal preference whether you partake or not.

  4. Jill

    May 25, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I don’t think the issue here is whether you “choose to partake or not”. The concern with the Sports Bar was the number of places in that very close area which serve alcohol. And it is a bar, not a restaurant like Sammy’s. And yes there is a difference. My biggest concern was the fact that I have to pass through that intersection to get to my home. I have a 3 year-old & a 4 year-old that are my life. If someone CHOOSES to get drunk & drive and injures my children, that is not ok with me. I understand that this can already happen, but with the new sports bar & the new daiquiri shop joining Caliente, Sammy’s, Cafe Roux, Blackie’s & Cajun Daiquiri, it just increases the chances of drunk driving & decreases the public’s safety. Some people may not see this as a big deal, but when it comes to my babies, it’s a HUGE deal to me.

  5. cmay09

    May 25, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Great info! I do wish though that I had an author that I commend for the story. Yes you are correct that there are a few things this article and the council or any rules they have cannot touch. First comes the name “Extra Innings”, while there may be a supposed legal issue because there is a bar in N.O. that has the name, if you did a search on any engine you would find that the name is everywhere! This falls under intellectual property (IP) which to me is almost completely wrong. The reason why, is that there cannot be a monopoly on thoughts or ideas because it is impossible to enforce– as is the 20% food rule. If IP were possible to enforce, then every time any of us used a name or slogan of a business, we would be fined to pay them for using it. So “Extra Innings” has no case on the name, because there are probably hundreds if not thousands of sports with that name. Second is the 20% rule. It is impossible to enforce as well. Just say that this business does $1000 business per day, and they are at $790 on alcoholic drinks and only $75 in food sales—should they stop selling drinks so the food sales catch up? No way, just a way to get this business started, a manipulation of sorts. Most see numbers and do not take time to consider those figures as an impossibility, but they accept. It is one of the main reasons to me that we as a nation are in financial trouble, the economy is based on false numbers that have been manipulated. Those percentages can be changed by the small businesses, just as they are changed by Wall Street and banks. I will say that Sharon hit on a good point that if you don’t want to partake, don’t! That is the most important part of what America was built on, and that is the freedom to make your own decisions.

  6. cmay09

    May 25, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    @Jill
    Here are some statistics about drunk driving from the NHTSA, you will see that the average of 61% of ALL accidents occur with a BAC of .00% and about 32% at .08% BAC. Basically stating that MOST accidents are caused by sober people. How scared are you now?
    http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Trends/TrendsAlcohol.aspx

  7. cmay09

    May 25, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Jill,
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website states that about 62% of traffic accidents are caused by a 0.00% BAC and about 32% of accidents are caused by 0.08% BAC. Maybe you will see it different?
    http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Trends/TrendsAlcohol.asp

  8. Donna Dufour

    May 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Why keep beating a dead horse to death. Yes I like, no I don’t. It’s a religous issue, it’s a safety issue. It’s a saturation issue, it’s legal issue. It is all mute now.

  9. cmay09

    May 26, 2010 at 5:56 am

    oops. Site did not post the first or second comment till almost an hour later! Wonder why that happens?

  10. Jill

    May 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    cMay09,
    Thank you for your statistics. I am aware that many people who are sober cause accidents. I have been on the receiving end of on accident that was not from drunk driving. But if you take those statistics & add increased drinking and driving in a relatively small area, then it is most definitely going to decrease the safety of our citizens. I am not trying to argue with you, I am expressing my concern & worry. And to answer your question, “How scared are you now?”: I am even MORE scared. Please don’t belittle my concern for my children.

  11. cmay09

    May 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    It was never my intention to belittle the safety of your children. There is another statistic that is also important, I do not remember where exactly I found it. I had to do with the “DRY” counties in Texas, where people had to drive further to drink increasing the likelyhood of an accident exponentially after partaking. But the fact put out that any of us are 2/3 more likely to die from sober drivers than drunk drivers is profound. The fear put into us all by federal and local governments is simply a way to control our actions as citizens. I look at this all from a libertarian perspective, it may seem as it is not conducive to human rights, but it reinforces the fact that each of us are responsible for our actions. If we actually violate the rights of another human, then should we be punished. As I said, it is not an attack on personal safety, but more of an attack on personal freedom. To further define the aspect of personal freedom in this case, no single person or group of persons has the right to employ coersion or compliance against another single person or group of people. This goes against the basic ideals that this country was founded on! I have children also, a three year old and one in the womb, and I understand that not a single one of us will live forever. When it is your time to go home, no law or mandate will prevent it, and that is the one true fact that ALL beings in this world must realize. This ‘bar’ should not be a huge deal, especially since you would probably not be riding around at 1 or 2 A.M. with 2 and 3 year old children. Just another point to consider. I try to consider all possible scenarios in life before making an decision, I wish everyone could do the same. I would like to say, one more time, that I am not disrespecting your position on the issue and do not aim to change anyones perception. The only point I would like to make is that we should do our own research, not building on the talking points provided by “news” outlets, and learn the ability to think for ourselves. It truly is a lost art in our times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *