Bottled Blonde of Old Town Scottsdale receives new CUP parameters

A view of the site location of Bottled Blonde in the “Entertainment District” of Old Town Scottsdale. (Submitted Graphic)

The Bottled Blonde is officially uncorked in Old Town Scottsdale.

A graphic rendering of the now-approved second-floor addition to the Old Town watering hole. (Submitted graphic)

Scottsdale City Council recently approved a zoning-use change to Bottled Blonde operations — a popular watering hole within the bounds of the “Entertainment District” a part of Old Town — allowing the construction of a staircase and a roof deck for patrons to enjoy.

“I am here as an advocate for the immutable truth that a beer enjoyed on a rooftop simply tastes better,” said Benjamin Tate of the Phoenix-based Withey Morris law firm during an Aug. 27 public hearing. “What we are requesting is to add a roof deck to an existing patio top — this isn’t a request to put a bar on a rooftop deck under the existing covered patio space.”

From a technical standpoint, Scottsdale City Council approved:

  • Resolution No. 11535, which allows for an amendment to the establishment’s conditional use permit — the marching orders of what can and cannot occur on premise — allowing a bar to include a new second-floor roof deck addition for a property at 7340 E. Indian Plaza in Old Town Scottsdale.

The measure, which passed 5-2, saw affirmative votes from Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane and councilmembers Suzanne Klapp, Viriginia Korte, Linda Milhaven and Guy Phillips. Scottsdale councilwoman Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead were the dissenting votes.

According to Scottsdale Senior Planner Greg Bloomberg, the applicant, in this case, owner Les Corieri, sought to improve and expand patron offerings at the Bottled Blonde.

“The site is located just south of Camelback Road, which is in the entertainment district and that is an area that consists of travel accommodations and bar and restaurant uses similar in intensity to this proposed use,” Mr. Bloomberg said of the staff perspective.

“The property is zoned C2/P3 DO in terms of the site plan, not much is changing from the existing plan, but they do want to add an external staircase to provide access to that roof deck — otherwise the site plan is pretty much the same as it is now.”

But with great revelry oftentimes come great noise, but Mr. Bloomberg explains Mr. Corieri has agreed to build a concrete wall to help mitigate sound for Scottsdale residents who live across the street, just north of Camelback.

“Of note, is a proposal to add a large sound mitigation wall on the northern edge to help mitigate some of the noise from getting off and impacting the private properties to the north,” he explained noting the perspective of noise mitigation in the area, which came up at the Planning Commission earlier in the process.

— Greg Bloomberg, Scottsdale senior planner

“We have received public comment on this expressing some concerns about general noise in the area. [The Planning Commission] felt that noise in the area was a global issue. And, that this specific operator and this specific application wasn’t the culprit by itself, per say…”

The Scottsdale Planning Commission approved the CUP amendment for Bottled Blonde 6-1 at a July 10 public hearing whereas a provision of limiting hours of operation was considered but ultimately abandoned.

Virginia Korte

“What was the reasoning to remove it?” Ms. Korte asked of the time-of-operations caveat. “I agree with the Planning Commission and will be looking to remove that from our motion if this moves forward.”

Furthermore, Mr. Tate points out the wall is 18-feet high and no live entertainment is contemplated on the second floor.

“To the north of the bar is an 18-foot sound-mitigation wall, which was specifically designed by the applicant out of concern for the single-family residences on the other side of Camelback road,” he said.

“The noise is more of a global problem in the area, but nonetheless, not only is the applicant doing their part to help mitigate that sound with the wall but also the speakers that are being added only amount to about 600 watts. The average wattage of nightclubs and bars in the Old Town area is between 25,000 and 50,000 wattage. Bottled Blonde total speaker wattage is only around 4,500 watts so they are only a small contributor to this.”

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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