WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Plans for a Joe's Crab Shack at Johnny Mercer's pier were rejected by Wrightsville Beach alderman, who echoed concerns from residents about parking and traffic.
The proposal was discussed for nearly three hours at a meeting Thursday night.
The idea drew criticism from some Wrightsville Beach residents, who were concerned about the restaurant increasing parking problems near the pier.
Residents said the parking lot around the pier is already "extremely congested" during the busy tourism season.
Plans called for the restaurant to renovate the pier house to accommodate 270 guests and 30 employees.
Under town code, a restaurant of that size must have 83 spaces. The restaurant developer was asking to be exempted from these rules.
The aldermen voted unanimously to deny a special use permit for the project.
To address concerns about parking, the developer was considering leasing parking space off the island for employee parking and shuttling those workers to the eatery.
The board of aldermen also heard from the restaurateur and its supporters at the meeting, who said it would enhance the area and increase property values.
The restaurant developer also argued the eatery wouldn't attract any additional patrons to the area, saying their customer base would come from those who are already enjoying the beach.
But residents weren't buying it, saying the restaurant would add to traffic congestion at the beach.
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