San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Zelick's open air floorplan is part of its appeal to the San Marcos residents who flock there. To some neighbors who live nearby, it's the biggest part of the problem.


With just hours to spare before its conditional use permit to serve alcohol was set to expire, Zelick’s Icehouse won a second six-month reprieve from the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday.

In December, the commission gave the Katz brothers, who opened the popular courtyard bar on Hopkins Street in July last year, six months to reach some kind of accommodation with the owners of next-door Crystal River Inn, who say late-night and early-morning noise from the bar is ruining their business. The parties entered mediation and, despite a last minute push for resolution during the day on Tuesday, they arrived at last night’s P&Z meeting with situation essentially unchanged from six months ago.

After failing to pass an earlier motion to renew Zelick’s permit for three years — the normal term for an established bar with a clean record under the city’s points system — the commission voted 5-1 for a provisional six-month extension instead. The measure also includes conditions that require the bar owners to prohibit motorcycle parking on the property line with the inn and shutting off music as soon as the bar closes at 2 a.m.

The permit was set to expire today although, practically speaking, its lapse wouldn’t have resulted in the bar’s closure since its owners have a pending application for renewal.

Zelick’s supporters argued that they had built their business within the city’s land use and zoning rules and abided by the conditions of their permit. Since opening a year ago, the bar has not been cited by the police department for noise ordinance violations, Zelick’s supporters said.

Chase Katz said the city’s new downtown area SmartCode — adopted since they started their project — allows them to move their south fence to the lot line, expanding the courtyard by enough to move most outdoor games away from the inn side of the property. They plan to eventually build a two-story restaurant on their property between the inn and the bar, which Chase Katz said would resolve the issues longterm.

Crystal River Inn’s supporters argued that Zelick’s had misrepresented the nature of the business they intended to build when the Dillons and other neighbors supported their rezoning request for the property in June 2010. The project was sold as a quiet “garden bar,” Cathy Dillon said, not as a bustling hub of San Marcos nightlife.

Because the inn was “there first,” they said, the bar owners bear the burden of resolving the noise issue.

With three planning commissioners absent, it’s possible if not likely that the bar could have won an outright three-year extension had the missing votes been present. Commissioners Travis Kelsey and Corey Carothers were not there and Commissioner Bucky Couch was called away from the meeting before a vote was taken.

As it happened, Commissioner Carter Morris’ motion for a three-year extension with the new conditions failed on a tie. Commissioners Chris Wood and Kenneth Ehlers joined Morris; Commissioners Bill Taylor, Curtis Seebeck and Randy Bryan opposed extending the permit for a full term.


» Packet material from June 12 planning and zoning commission meeting [pdf]

Letters to San Marcos P&Z about Zelick’s, Crystal River Inn

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104 thoughts on “Zelick’s gets six-month reprieve on bar permit

  1. Why can’t a compromise be reached so the bar would have no amplified music after 10 p.m. and shut down completely by midnight? We must respect the rights of both the new business and the people who have invested in our community for years and years. This is very sad.

  2. Kate they would lose money for sure, just like the Inn is. I don’t know how they can possibly coexist w/out putting the Inn out of business unless they wall it in and sound proof it honestly ~ even then there is the issue of the motorcycles and they are LOUD, and it would ruin the whole character of the bar.

    It’s a shame too b/c it’s another instance of great plan, wrong place. Zelicks was built fabulously, and all the games make it so much more than a “bar”. If they had done it where the new rooftop is (another example of re-use of an old eyesore) this wouldn’t be an issue. The problem is the Dillon’s were w/in 200ft and didn’t object b/c I think they envisioned the representation of it as more like Palmer’s Court Yard than what they got. Add to that the neighbors in that area complaining that they can’t sleep due to noise either and it’s just a big mess.

    I guess at the heart of it, it has to be proved that the Katz’s misrepresented what they intended to do for anyone to be able to say they have to close 4 hours earlier than any other bar in town. I think the right decision was made last night, they are still in mediation, maybe they can work something out b/4 it comes up for renewal again.

  3. I’m torn on this issue. On one hand, I like Zelicks & want to see the Katz brothers be successful. On the other I totally understand the problems it causes for the Inn. Last night everyone kept talking about the fact that the Inn was there first and therefore Zelicks should be the ones to make accomodations. I do feel Zelicks should be making most of the accomodations but not because the Inn was there first. Rather, Zelicks should be making changes because they are the ones making the noise. Its about respect for the people around you. Same goes for Tantra, the passers-by, and the bikers.

    I’m glad they were given only 6 months. I just hope for thir sake they take this 6 months a lot more seriously than they took the first 6 during which they waited until the last minute to act.

    I’m also concerned about the “Eat…” sign in their bar which now evidently appears on their website. Their supporters portray the Katz brothers as fine young entrepreneurs, but let’s face it- the sign is in poor taste.

    Overall I hope they are able to make the changes necessary to be more respectful of the Inn and I also hope the Inn can find a way to partner with Zelicks in creating a welcoming area downtown.

  4. @the Tree Hugger…If you are concerned about the “eat…” sign you have ruined your credibility concerning any matter involving logic!!! Although you may not agree with “colorful” language the majority of society uses it and accepts it. It’s called popular culture!!!

    Aside from that…Katz brothers should work with Inn owners to build noise barrier and this is a dead issue. Does anyone remember what the Zelick’s property used to look like?!?!

    Change…even for the good…takes some adjustment!!!

  5. mmm wtf is yalls prob? should a city approved bar be able to server alcohol? LOL! this is exactly the sort of no-growth bs that us long time residents have been fighting for 20 years! i love the inn, and i understand theyre being hurt, but we cant just go around shutting down businesses bc somebody doesnt like them… effing embarrassing sm…

  6. I love the place but may not be able to go back now that I see how callous rusty are to Inn guests.

  7. It seems like both businesses are paying the price for poor decision making by the city. Very unfortunate. I hope that the two businesses come up with a solution that allows them to thrive, but this mess (IMO) falls on the people hired/elected/appointed to handled planning decisions for the city. It is beyond me, how they could not see this coming.

  8. I had this conversation with my spouse last night and the first thing to come up was the fact of what Zelicks used to be and what it looked like. I do understand that change is hard for everyone and I do understand that having a bed & breakfast right next door to any kind of bar would be hard.

    But the city handed Zelicks the free and clear to do this. They have also designed the new “smart codes”. To go back on it now is like being an Indian Giver. Zelicks should do everything they can to make this work. But having a bed and breakfast on a main street in the middle of a university town should expect to have some noise issues. If my business was being impacted I wouldn’t like it either.

    If you buy a house near an airport and after several years do to growth, the noise is to much for you then maybe you should have thought about that before buying your home so close to the airport. People, is called growth, and if your not growing you become stagnant and sooner or later ya die. It’s called common sense and as a comedian has said “wheres your sign”?

  9. Agreed, sort of, except that when the city planners can’t manage to predict what the growth will look like 5-10 years out (see the constantly obsolete master plans), it is hard to say that people trying to figure out how to run successful businesses, or pay their mortgages, should have the time and expertise to anticipate what will be going on in 20-30 years (I believe the Crystal River Inn opened about 25 years ago).

    I’d wager that if the city was stuck paying for these mistakes, a lot more care would go into the planning and decision making on the front end.

  10. Eventually, time will pass us all by. The Crystal River Inn had a good run, but it may be that its time has indeed passed. 25 years ago, that may have been a great place for a B&B. But in recent (the last 5-10) years, the suitability for that type of business in that part of town has diminished greatly.

    Now, based on everything else around it (grocery store, coffee shop, some office buildings, a donut shop, and now a bar)….the B&B looks like the odd item in that area. I can’t imagine what someone who would stay in a fancy old B&B would want to do with that surrounding area anymore.

  11. The grocery store, the donut shop, and the office buildings are not the sources of late night noise disturbance; the bar is, and the Inn owners were led to believe this would be a “garden bar” similar to Palmers. Bars and drunks and partying suck out so much life in this town, in more ways than one; it seems that’s all we value.

  12. @Ted,

    They do, but Tantra ain’t exactly trying for the same crowd as Starbucks. I doubt the typical B&B crowd would be too comfortable in that place.


    If there is so much late night noise disturbance caused by Zelicks, why did the story mention that they have yet to be cited for violating the City’s noise ordinances?

  13. Ted,

    As an appointed official for the City of San Marcos who was involved with this decision, I take offense to your very harsh critique of the staff and my fellow commissioners. At the original planning and zoning commission meeting where this was presented, we were given a letter from the adjacent land owner showing enthusiastic support for their potential new next door neighbor. The bar was presented to the commission as a quiet, garden bar and seemed like a good fit from the information that was presented to us. We were aware that there would be outdoor games but not being a bar patron myself, I never even considered that there would be excessive noise from these games nor that the music from inside the bar would cause such an issue. I envisioned a place and setting very similar to Palmer’s outside area rather than party central. Unfortunately, our crystal ball does not work sometimes!

    With that said, I do not believe that the Katz brothers intentionally misrepresented their new endeavor. I just think that it evolved from the original plan and now we have some issues.

    This is the reason for having a CUP process as we do. A new bar is usually granted a 1 year CUP so that we can see if issues crop up. Then, when the bar comes back for renewal, the case is re-evaluated and additional restrictions can be imposed as needed. Normally, after the 1 year “evaluation”, the bar is granted a 3 year CUP and after that, a lifetime CUP tied to the TABC license.

    As for the posted who said they complied with all of the COSM requirements…this is correct…they did comply with the requirements and conditions placed on them during the 1 year CUP. CUP’s are not a right in San Marcos and, just as the name implies, the “right” to operate said business is CONDITIONAL upon requirements set in the CUP. It is up to the Planning and Zoning Commission to set these conditions and we reserve the right to change those conditions when the CUP expires as necessary. It seems like the system is working exactly as intended in this situation.

  14. Just a thought, but would the business at Zelick’s completely tank if they just reined in the motorcycles?

    It seems like extremely poor planning on the Katz brothers’ part if they failed to imagine that a biker crowd would go unnoticed in a partly residential neighborhood, next to a bed and breakfast. This is no comment on the patrons of bike night themselves, but c’mon – motorcycles are noisy, everyone knows that.

    Also, whatever happened to the mediator that was supposed to help sort this all out? Or am I remembering incorrectly? I think the P and Z did exactly the right thing by issuing another 6 month permit, and I hope that they don’t issue a three year permit until everyone has lived with the final arrangements for 6 months…..

  15. Mr. Seebeck, I am sorry that you take offense, but that does nothing to change my position. Too many decisions seem to be made, based on what people “think” is going to happen.

    I don’t think anything was misrepresented. I think the city dropped the ball. The job of Crystal River, is to run a B&B. The job of Zelicks, is to run a bar. For either, or both, of these businesses to fail to see these problems coming, does nothing to absolve the city of its responsibility here.

    I seem to recall the city being caught off guard by problems nobody envisioned, with the construction at Craddock and 12. Hopefully, there won’t also be surprise problems with the finished product.

    With all due respect, every time I hear someone complain about the composition of P&Z, the reply I hear, is that we need to have a lot of development experience up there, so that we are making informed decisions.

    In other words, many of you have been selected over “ordinary citizens,” precisely because you have the background to envision and address these issues on the front end.

  16. @Curtis, quoting the story above: “With three planning commissioners absent, it’s possible if not likely that the bar could have won an outright three-year extension had the missing votes been present. Commissioners Travis Kelsey and Corey Carothers were not there and Commissioner Bucky Couch was called away from the meeting before a vote was taken. As it happened, Commissioner Carter Morris’ motion for a three-year extension with the new conditions failed on a tie…..”

    Quoting your comment: “It seems like the system is working exactly as intended in this situation.” huh??? How is the system “working” here? Carter Morris would have had his way, and given a 3 year extension, had 3 other commissioners been present.

    As you claim the commissioners do not have a crystal ball, neither did the Inn’s owners, who were agreeable to a “quiet garden bar” as presented by the Katz’s.

  17. “the “right” to operate said business is CONDITIONAL upon requirements set in the CUP. It is up to the Planning and Zoning Commission to set these conditions”

    Where can we find these conditions? Is the original CUP available online somewhere? Does it spell out what a “quiet, garden bar” is?

  18. I agree with Ted in wondering how our “illustrious”…I mean “OBLIVIOUS” City Planners and Council did not see this coming! Yes, the Inn opened some 25 years ago, but the decision to allow Zelick’s did not.
    The job of planning and making judgements as to what the citizens/their constituents of San Marcos REALLY want is not what this group does…serving their own short-sighted, ignorant to the greater good, shallow, self-interests is.
    They give new meaning to the word nepotism. Yes, folks, the good-ole boy system is alive and well down at City Hall in San Marcos, Texas. They do not see anything beyond the end of their greedy, self-serving noses.
    Hopefully, the Horizons Master Plan, albeit “outdated” because 1) nobody ever got around to updating it for years because it represented what the citizens really wanted, and 2) *more importantly*..NOW…it does not serve their interests, will see the ouster of most of these people on the “horizon” before they destroy everything that would make ANYONE want to live in this town.
    Let’s hope, also, that the City will get the decision-making employees(inspectors, permits, etc.) all on the same page as to what the rules really are. It depends on who you speak to as to what the “flavor of the day” rule is.
    Now to address the latest “cluster fu-k” that the City has once again created, “Anti Tree Huggin’Douche” should love that “popular culture saying”.
    The name Ice House does not imply anything but a drinking establishment…not fine dining…nor a quiet, outdoor courtyard area.
    I have frequented and greatly enjoyed both establishments; but once again, those down at City Hall did not give any thought to anything but lining their own pockets. Check out some of the background info regarding Zelick’s.
    As far as fine dining…one more tidbit(glad I didn’t transpose the “d” and the “t” lest we might have another new saying) to Anti Tree Huggin’ Douche(BAG),FYI.. “Eat More Pussy” is NOT “popular culture” is a slang word for female genitalia used by men for probably longer than you have been alive. I know not one woman that uses the term. Most women that I know, of all ages, find it offensive. Oh, but I digress.
    It seems that the citizens of San Marcos are running around busily trying to hold on to what we have loved about this town, but NOBODY in a decison-making position is listening.
    I know of one newly re-elected city council member that actually listens and is willing to stand up to the others in council meetings.
    I wholeheartedly agree with raptorjesus..
    San marcos has become an embarrasment.

  19. I personally would like to read some sort of meeting minutes where Zelicks actually says “garden bar” I have a hard time believing that they would be so far off from the original plan and description.

  20. …lest I be accused of not listening to my Southwest Texas State English Professors….in the last line of my previous comment.. Marcos should be capitalized…
    like any other proper noun.

  21. From the materials for this meeting:

    “In addition, the original permit noted that there would be no amplified music. Despite this, no condition has been placed on this CUP regarding music or speakers.”

    That sounds like someone understood the potential problem of amplified music, but somehow left it out of the CUP. I’d like to see that CUP, but it sounds like no conditions were placed re: speakers, inside, or outside. For that matter, I am not sure what constitutes “inside,” given the design of the building.

    Also from the materials for the meeting:

    “In evaluating the impact of the proposed conditional use on surrounding properties, the Commission should consider the extent to which the use:

    is compatible with the character and integrity of adjacent developments and neighborhoods.”

    That sounds pretty clear. P&Z is supposed to evaluate the impact on surrounding properties. The fact that a B&B owner, who may not have any experience with this sort of thing, supported the development, does nothing to shift that burden away from P&Z.

    IMO, this is likely to cost both businesses money. In most cases, it costs substantially more to solve a problem after a project is completed, than it would have cost to resolve it in the planning phase. Running a business is difficult enough. Piling this sort of thing on top of it, does not create what I would call a business-friendly environment. I am sure both Zelicks and Crystal River would much rather be spending their spare time and cash on building their businesses, rather than sorting this out.

  22. SM native, I don’t know that I would have gone as far as you, but I understand the frustration. To constantly hear about homeowners and now business owners who “should have known better,” while at the same time being told to give a pass to the city that “could never have foreseen this,” is tough to swallow.

    Re: the sign, if I recall correctly, it is in the bathroom, in which case, I don’t find it terribly bothersome. In fact, I find their bathroom hilarious, especially after a couple of beers. That’s just me.

  23. I recently forced some of my snobby Austin friends to join me at Zelick’s to prove they didn’t have a corner on the market when it comes to cool places. So I hope Zelick’s survives. That said, I’m a pretty tame bar patron with little tolerance for obnoxious drunk behavior. If I owned or stayed at Crystal River I would be furious, as they clearly are from the emails.

    Now, is it our obligation to tip-toe around any business to the point where we can’t carry on our normal lives because they got there first? I don’t think so. But Zelick’s is not a normal business. It’s a well designed noise machine. I think they have an obligation, if they want to continue the business, to do whatever it takes to bring the decibals back down to the pre-Zelick’s levels. This could be paying for new sound deadening windows on the Inn, forbidding motorcycles, shooshing patrons or eliminating music. Whatever it takes.

  24. In Ft. Worth there are oil drilling rigs with sound dampening fence panels surrounding them. A properly engineered sound fence, at Zelicks expense sounds appropriate to me. I also like the idea of new sound lowering windows on that side of the Inn are in order, also at Zelicks expense. And building a new 2 story restaurant in the parking lot? Really? Is that not about 30 feet wide and right up to the property line? Hopefully the P&Z shows common sense and realizes that will make things worse. Greasy burgers cooking next to the Inn’s bedrooms, lovely.

  25. Maybe a big wall and then get rid of those pesky young students that seem to be a nuisance everywhere.
    Nobody should build or buy a business or residence until I have interviewed and made them do something that I want them to do.

    Kidding you guys

    I do not think the fall of a business is caused in such a short amount of time or can be attributed to on reason. It just does not work that way in the real world of business. Sometimes things just change and the landscape is different. One day Zelick’s will not have the business it once had. It is just the way.Will they be able to blame a neighbor or the city?
    Neither of these businesses or the P&Z are making any distorted or malicious decisions to the detriment of any.
    I do hope the businesses in the direct area of concern can work to solve the issues that they can all agree on.

  26. Ted,

    Thank you for the courteous reply, unlike some of the others after you. To address this part:

    “With all due respect, every time I hear someone complain about the composition of P&Z, the reply I hear, is that we need to have a lot of development experience up there, so that we are making informed decisions.

    In other words, many of you have been selected over “ordinary citizens,” precisely because you have the background to envision and address these issues on the front end.”

    I am not sure of the validity of the complaints on the make up of P&Z. Here is a list of who is up there and what they do:

    Bill Taylor , Chair–Owns an insurance company and has no development experience other than being on City Council in the past
    Curtis Seebeck , Vice Chair–I own a Residential Custom Home Construction company and have never developed anything. I do have a lot of construction expertise and that is why I am on P&Z, not to mention that I have lived in San Marcos for 44 years.
    Bucky Couch–Consultant I believe with no development experience
    Corey Carothers–Dentist with no development experience
    Randy Bryan–Pastor with no development experience
    Chris Wood–Owns a Construction Company that does residential and commercial and brings construction expertise to the table
    Kenneth Ehlers–Owns a Construction Company that does custom homes and brings construction expertise to the table
    Travis Kelsey–Bar owner that brings bar expertise to the table
    Carter Morris–Real Estate Broker with development experience.

    So, 33% of P&Z are in the construction industry, 11% is in the bar business, 11% is in the Real Estate business, 11% is in the health care business, 11% is in the Ministry, 11% is in the Insurance business, and 11% is in consulting. I would have to say that is a far cry from having a lot of development experience when only 11% of the P&Z make up actually has any and looks to me to be a fairly broad representation of the “ordinary” citizens of San Marcos.

  27. Cameron,

    That is the reporter’s assumption. I am fairly certain that not all three of the absent commissioners would have voted for the original motion and have a pretty good feeling that still would not have passed if everyone was there. However, this is irrelevant, at this point, since it was voted down.

  28. I can’t comment on the validity of the complaints. That’s a matter of opinion.

    I only know the justification that has been given, for 44% being in construction/real estate. The explanation offered, is that we need that “expertise” to determine which projects are good and bad.

  29. Ted,

    “Where can we find these conditions? Is the original CUP available online somewhere? Does it spell out what a “quiet, garden bar” is?”

    I looked on the city’s website and the minutes from the June 2010 meeting where the original CUP was granted is not available that I can find. I do seem to recall a number of conditions, however, such as no amplified music. If I recall correctly, we placed the same conditions on this one as we did on Tantra. However, it has been over a year and a half and I am not getting any younger so I may be remembering incorrectly!

  30. No worries. I had hoped that the new city website would make it easier to find stuff like that. So far, not so much.

    I’m not trying to run you guys down (much). I just think that the citizens rely on you to keep these problems from happening, to the extent that you can. In my opinion (and it is just my opinion), it makes it tough for people to decide to buy a home, or start a small business here, if there is a bunch of uncertainty like this. I’d be shocked if the Katz brothers didn’t close up some nights, collapse into one of those adirondack chairs, and think “man, I wish we had this to do over again.”

    More to the point, if the city can’t foresee these problems, can we please stop with the ridiculous idea that the homeowners and/or business owners should have been able to? I plan to be in my house for another 20 years. I defy anyone on this site to tell me what my neighborhood will be like then.

    This is why we rely so heavily on the master plan, and careful decisions by P&Z and City Council.

  31. Ted,

    Again, thank you for the courteous reply. If everyone was as courteous in our responses both on here and other areas, the world would certainly be a better place and much more could be accomplished!

    One thing that really bothers me with these types of discussions is the wording “what the citizens want”. Please remember, all of us on P&Z and even our elected officials are also CITIZENS just like everyone else. We are no more special or privileged than any other citizen and we all want what is best for San Marcos. Contrary to what the person a number of posts above stated, we are not “serving our own short-sighted, ignorant to the greater good, shallow, self-interests.” Nor do we “not see anything beyond the end of our greedy, self-serving noses.” We are just fellow citizens who volunteer our time, just like anyone else on here can do to try to help better San Marcos and serve the city we love. Sure, we make mistakes. I know I have made plenty in my voting in the past and would like a do-over on some of the votes.

    I would also love to have more polite and courteous discussions with my fellow citizens of San Marcos to better understand and see the complete picture other than just 3 minutes at a podium or anonymous comments on a news blog. If you, or anyone else for that matter, are ever interested in meeting for lunch some time to discuss issues or specific projects, I would be more than happy to do so! I am also happy to talk with anyone over the phone who is interested enough to provide their input on issues we deal with. My number is 512-738-0775.

  32. Given the amount of business that Zelicks has been able to generate, I think it may be a tad presumptuous to claim that it’s not “what the citizens want”. How many people here have had a beer at Zelicks and how many have stayed at the Inn?

  33. I’ve had many beers there, and I have had many friends and family stay at Crystal River.

    Years ago, I had to travel to Wisconsin all the time, for work. I stayed at a bed and breakfast very much like Crystal River. I unwound at a bar across a very narrow street (think Feltner Alley). It may as well have been next door. The owners of the B&B recommended it, endlessly.

    The two can be complimentary. There is a B&B next door to Gruene Hall.

  34. Curtis thank you so much for reaching out and offering your phone number should anyone like to ask questions etc… I will likely take you up on that. You and Travis almost always vote the way I would if I were in your shoes, so I don’t think it’s fair to be angry with everyone on P&Z when unpopular decisions are made, I just wish we had more PZ members that think the way you and Travis do.

    Like I said above, this is a mess, and I do agree that someone at PZ or CC should have foreseen an incompatibility issue, but live and learn. With hope this situation has opened eyes a bit to issues that were not foreseen.

    I thought it was in rather poor taste to give the Katz’s an award for Zelicks at the State of The City given the extreme compatibility issue it was/is having with the Inn….but that was a CC decision.

  35. Melissa, thank you for mentioning that award and “poor taste.” Considering that others on this website have self disclosed who the contractor was and since I personally had concerns regarding air quality when the building was blasted and reported this directly to the Fire Marshall’s office and the City Inspector imagine my surprise when a a bar opened after that was once a commercial building. I find some of the comments in this thread incredibly disrespectful to a business that has been here for YEARS, enjoyed by both residents and tourists. To bad there has been no mention of the schools near Zelicks. Have a nice weekend everyone.
    Best, LMC

  36. With all due respect, Lisa – it doesn’t particularly concern me to consider how long a business has been here….and it shouldn’t concern our City leaders either. I’m concerned – as they should be – with the future of San Marcos.

    This isn’t 1977 anymore and the Inn, like all other businesses, will have to adapt to survive.

    Now, if there were specific conditions that were placed on Zelicks in their CUP that they haven’t been in compliance with, I’m all for enforcing them. But otherwise, I find suggestions that they should be responsible for footing the bill for improvements to surrounding businesses laughable.

  37. So Dano, if I want to park outside your house at 3am with my thumpin stereo that’s ok? The Katz’s should have anticipated this. They have poisoned their neighbor’s well.

  38. I am inclined to agree with Dano’s last statement. If there were conditions set, which were not met, that is on Zelicks. Otherwise, IMO, the city dropped the ball.

    If the conditions were set at the beginning, the Katz brothers would have the option to say “nope, that’s too expensive,” and change their plan, build somewhere else, scrap the bar idea altogether, etc.

    As it stands, they are kind of stuck. They cen’t decide to build somewhere else, because they’ve already built. They can’t change their plans, because they’ve already completed them. All they can do, is take on additional expenses, whether that is in the form of new construction, legal battles, lost revenue from reduced hours, opportunity cost for their time spent on this, etc.

    It is very unfortunate.

    As for businesses adapting to changing times, yeah, but existing businesses should be able to count on the city not creating adversity for them, and then telling them that times change, and they need to adapt. Think about the message that this situation sends to others who are considering opening businesses in San Marcos. It is the same message that is sent to potential homeowners – you should know better.

  39. There’s doing what’s legal and doing what’s right. The Katz Bros should have known you can’t put an outdoor bar right next to people trying to sleep and not expect some blow-back. I love Zelick’s and the whole idea of Crystal River and B&B’s in general bores me to tears. I don’t care what rights Zelick’s thinks they have had bestowed upon them my the imperious city, you can’t just go mess with a man’s sleep. It ain’t right.

    If it stays, Zelicks is never going to be quiet. If they don’t fix it, the Inn will go away and maybe that’s what the Katz Bros want. But the blood will be on their hands.

  40. At Danno: Regarding “it doesn’t particularly concern me to consider how long a business has been here….and it shouldn’t concern our City leaders either” does this take into account that a new business directly impacts a previous business aligned with past and current Master Plan’s in a potentially deleterious way? A business which is a landmark in San Marcos, Texas with many memories for our family and friends – tourists and residents alike. It’s nice to have a shiny new building, let us just be considerate along the way when renovating then. Am reviewing the P&Z meeting right now and am shocked at the remarks and WHO is commenting pro reprieve. And, from the statements thus far it appears that there is much gossip going on and finger pointing on the side of the “new comers.” Not very neighborly, and this is just the surface. Also enjoyed the remarks of JJane Hughson, you rocked the house!!!!! Thank you to COSM for posting your videos for us to review online!!!!!
    Best Regards, LMC

  41. I have never supported that establishment. In my internet research this evening have encountered that sign. It is online and it is OFFENSIVE. Wow….un-beleivable….AND, that sign is at the establishment? Uh Where is the P&Z…Wow…and we are supposed to feel sorry for these “hard working” family biz owners…p-lease….What orbit do y’all exist?? Certainly not 78666,

  42. Sorry folks for posting this here but I don’t know how else to contact Melissa…

    Melissa, Got you VM today. Sorry I missed your call. Please visit my website and send me an e-mail through my contact form so I can e-mail you back and let you know why I was not able to call back. I would post me e-mail in this thread but don’t want the spam bots to flood me and my contact form is protected. Website is linked to my name!

  43. how about this, how many members of P&Z have actually swung a hammer…..and I don’t mean when they are teaching their spawn the virtue of work they don’t prescribe to, i mean actually swung a hammer…., for a livin? Curtis is probably the only one. Let’s call a spade a spade and stop talkin about “construction” when we mention these folks names, because that word still has a positive conotation in my mind… and i prefer to keep it that way.

  44. I used to help run the Blue Pearl as it morphed into the Coffee Pot years ago, as well as wrote for and was in charge of distribution for the Chautauquan Weekly – if you moved here in the past 10 years those names probably don’t mean anything to you, other than the Coffee Pot, but they were all housed in the same building the CP and Tap Room share today — and I can personally vouch for Travis’ work ethic and general decency as I spent many days witnessing as he very respectfully and diligently got the Tap Room off the ground. I can’t speak about the rest of P&Z, but you are full of crap spewing such things about him luddite. And I suspect a true luddite would mail a handwritten letter to the editor rather than comment on a computer page…

  45. How is what Zelick’s has done to Crystal River any different than what Darren Casey would have done to his neighbors on Sessoms? I was in Austin in the Rainey Street bar area a few weeks ago and had the same feeling of shame for those bars for what they have done to folks trying to quietly enjoy their property. I enjoy bars but they are on the same end of the spectrum as sexually oriented businesses when it comes to impact on a neighborhood. I remember Carol Barrett campaigning hard against Tantra because of the proximity of residential so to see that this was approved surprising. Maybe it should have been a PDD.

  46. I don’t have anything against any of the commissioners. I just believe we need more expertise brought to bear, and more time spent, on many of these decisions. Whether that means training, third party expertise, or whatever.

    It occurs to me that when many projects are brought to P&Z and council, it is implied, or explicitly stated, that things need to move quickly. Many of those projects have now sat, without even a ceremonial groundbreaking, for years. Others turn out to have problems that many believe could have been prevented.

    I don’t believe there was anything underhanded going on here, or that anyone on P&Z had any ulterior motives. I do, however, believe that much of the responsibility for this situation lies with the city, and we need to get better at making these decisions, if the citizens are going to trust the city, and if we are going to attract the kind of growth that we need.

  47. As it stands now, I don’t see any solution. I can see that a garden bar (such as the courtyard at Palmers) would be nice to have near a B&B, but Zelicks never sounded like a garden bar to me. Remodeled garage, outdoor games and seating and they only make money from sales of alcohol – it is a bar not a restaurant that serves alcohol. A bar next door to a business that makes money while customers sleep – doesn’t seem like a good business plan.

    I have lived here 30 years and I do sympathize with the B&B. It seems like the same problem that we have in neighborhoods. New loud neighbors with motorcycles, loud cars and late hours living next door to people that have to get up and go to work the next day. I can’t even get the city to enforce the loud party, illegal parked vehicles and too many unrelated people living in a single-family neighborhood laws that are on the books – can’t imagine getting them to solve a problem between two legally operating businesses. If we compare the history of what has happened in neighborhoods when noisy neighbors move in, then the B&B will go out of business or move out of town or move to Willow Creek and the B&B will not be able to sell their house to another B&B and become another loud bar. Just my prediction – sorry to make it and I will be sorrier to see it happen.

  48. How about we use some common sense about this?

    Yes, the Katz brothers had pretty poor foresight in opening a bar next door to an inn. But the Dillons opened an inn on the edge of downtown San Marcos. The city is expanding, and when you place a building in the path of that expansion, you will have to deal with some of the consequences.

    Also, the neon sign is an irrelavant, ad hominem attack on this bar. It’s in the men’s bathroom, so not every patron sees it, and it’s a bar, so those patrons are adults. They can deal with a little toilet humor, no pun intended.

    The city is growing, and curbing its growth like you people are doing will drive away businesses that want to come here. The Katz family already own two businesses since their graduation from Texas State, and it’s evident they want to remain San Martians through and through. Why do we want to push them away? They’re doing more for this economy than the rest of you people. If you want to stifle business growth, you are worse for the city of San Marcos than Zelick’s is for Crystal River guests.

  49. If the Crystal River Inn were to try to sell their business operations, which they have spent decades building, they would most likely now be de-valued due to the actions of the City and Zelick’s. The building they operate in would probably retain it’s market value but not likely as the current business location.

  50. Patches, you are mostly correct, except that we can’t afford to drive ANY business away, and we can’t afford to be sending a message to potential new businesses, that the city might hose them 2-25 years after they get here.

  51. Right there under the link to “food”
    C’mon guys – you can and should be classier than that.

    What ever happened to Texan good manners?

  52. I wonder how many of you heard the Dillon speak. The Katz bothers and the Dillon both saI’d they were close to an agreement. It would really help if people who commented had listened to the debate. I was part Of the actual negotiations and agree with Mike Dillon, both the Inn and ZelIcks are valuable to the community. The agreement is close at hand.

  53. I’m so glad. I want to be able to go to Zelick’s with a clear conscience. And I like the sign in the bathroom. I think it’s funny. If you don’t like it you don’t have to go and you don’t have to go to the website.

  54. I think the sign being prominately displayed on the website is an affront. It also seems to be indicative of the owners attitude toward their relationships with their neighbors and the city. They seem to take the position that whatever they can get away with is okay and however they decide to do things, as long as they can make money, is what everyone else should accept. The City is already on notice from these owners that they will try to get away with anything they can rather than live up to their word and agreements.

  55. Im still confused why that parking lot appears not to be paved? Is this not a requirement for all other businesses in San Marcos? Really, they bring in dirt at 9AM on a Saturday morning such as yesterday. Can someone enlighten me on why this is the case? Best, LMC

  56. Lisa, how about you just leave the Katz brothers be? For someone who has always been a proponent of personal freedoms and responsibility, you sure nitpick a lot about something that isn’t your concern, whether it be a sign that has no impact or relevance on the issue, or a parking lot that they chose not to pave, which similarly is irrelevant.

  57. The fact that the owners may be ignoring rules that apply to them as well as other businesses within the city would make the parking lot issue relevant. Same as the sign. Their attitude with the sign clearly is that they are making a statement that they will push the envelop in order to further what they perceive as their interests. This relationship between the Katz brothers, their neighbors and the City is taking some interesting turns as the discussion progresses. It’s beginning to appear that the Katz brothers may have violated more agreements and rules than first it appeared. Can they be trusted to uphold their end of even the most basic and simplest agreement? It seems that maybe they can’t.

  58. the sign you people are going so nuts about is a non-issue. Let it go. The Katz brothers hung up a sign on the bathroom wall, big deal. The plaques at Tap Room have some obscene quotes but no one is protesting their right to operate. There’s a Playboy pinball machine at Showdown, but where are the people screaming of misogyny and sexism? The paintings sold by Keep San Marcos Cooler than Austin were full of sexual imagery, but none of you ranted about how it showed what KSMCTA thought of the town. You could go to any bar here and find something sexual, but you’re just zeroing in on Zelick’s because you’ll grasp at any straw to make an irrelevant point.

    Also, the unpaved parking lot is just speculation. If there was an ordinance banning unpaved parking lots, don’t you think the city would have fined Zelick’s already? It’s the same as the neon sign; grasping at straws because Zelick’s has a right, like any bar in this town, to be open.

  59. The sign and even the parking lot are just minor things that point to the bigger problem in resolving this issue regarding the Ketz brothers credibility. What have they done to exhibit good faith in resolving the problems caused by their operation? Nothing. Just more affronts indicating they have no intention of complying and resolving the dispute.

  60. “Their attitude with the sign clearly is that they are making a statement that they will push the envelop in order to further what they perceive as their interests.”

    It’s not so clear to me. It might just be that they just have a raunchy sense of humor. Last I checked, that’s neither a crime, a violation of City ordinance, or a sign that they’re not willing to work with the Dillons.

    It’s actually not much more than a pretty flimsy piece of evidence being used against Zelicks by a few folks who seem to have appointed themselves as the local morality police.

    Oh, and speaking of credibility: it’s the “Katz” brothers, not “Ketz”.

  61. Taking all of it together it adds up to the same thing. No matter how it might be spelled or misspelled, it’s adding up that the Katz brothers don’t seem to have been acting in good faith with the City and their neighbors in resolving their noise problem. Taking everything together, there is no indication that they will. I suppose time will tell. Hopefully, they will realize that acting in good faith will be the best course in the long run and everyone will be happy. I doubt it, based on what has been seen so far. But, hope for the best.

  62. A lot of issues here.

    I like the remodel, don’t do bars much any more, but it looks like a decent venue for a cold beer. Personally, I don’t care for the sign, but consider it a nonissue.

    It’s an improvement over the UHaul business, but, granted louder and later.

    Does any one know for sure if the old gas tanks have been removed?

  63. Intrepid, did you miss the part where both parties have said they are close to an agreement? (David’s comment above, although I’ve heard the same through other channels) All the hand-wringing and kvetching is a waste of energy.

    Winchester, I’m going to guess that if the tanks are still there, they had to be drained in the mid-1990s. I forget the exact year, but all stations in the nation were supposed to either upgrade to double walled tanks or stop using them around then.

  64. Please WATCH the playback of the video. My jaw dropped at some of the statements.

    TCEQ should have the LUST data. Leaky Underground Storage Tanks, if one is present. This is via City Attorney today. That is a splendid question Winchester!!!

    See the Plucker’s scenario regarding fairness, this is also in the tape playback.

    Again, are parking lots required or not to be paved? If everyone has to do this then that is only fair.

    P&Z did the right action. Nice job.

    Best, LMC

  65. No, Lisa, they are not required to be paved. It’s not the only unpaved lot in the city. Come off it.

  66. Lisa,

    If you are so very worried about the parking lot pavement and underground tanks, why don’t you do your own research? Codes and ordinances are published for the public.

    Maybe if you were willing to do some grunt work, like your own research, you could have been voted onto the council.

  67. Then there are sure allot of businesses in town that deserve refunds because they were advised otherwise. Don’t worry, we are conducting research on possible ethics violations, possible LUST, the sound ordinance enforcement, transcribing the advocacy of both parties from the P&Z, and of course the paved issue. I tend to believe the Development Department over someone who does not use their real name and launches personal attacks. Also exploring the connection on that award that Ryan Patrick Perkins keeps citing, given to Zelicks by the very contractor who got paid to put in a bathroom at Zelicks. It was in poor taste and being used as “proof” of good stewardship. Also have open records requests from way back when the renovation began.
    Have you watched the playback? And, we will be calling our good friends at the TCEQ this week as well.
    Best Regards, LMC

  68. it’s funny that someone who has complained so much about government overreach now wants to bring as much as she can against Zelick’s because of a petty grudge.

  69. Jesse, I understand the part where they think they are close to an agreement. I also understand that the City and the neighbors of Zelicks THOUGHT they had an agreement before. The real issue here is if the Katz brothers will hold up their end of any agreement they enter in to. Based on what has come out just recently it seems they have not in the past and so its maybe likely they will not in the future. Just based on what has been presented so far I conclude that they may not be the type of people who will stand by a ‘handshake agreement’ or a ‘gentlemans agreement’. That’s fine. A lot of people won’t these days. It will be up to the other parties and the City to make sure the Katz brothers have no wiggle room on the next agreement and that penalties are provided for noncompliance. It appears that the Katz brothers may not deal in good faith so a schedule of completion of agreed actions must have some severe penalties in order to get their attention. It seems they have shown by their actions that they cannot be relied on to have any wiggle room or they will not comply.

  70. First thing anyone should ask when buying or even leasing a site that used to be a filling station is, are the tanks removed.

  71. There’s no way in hell the tanks are still there. And for Lisa to use the term LEAKING underground storage tanks is ridiculous. If they were known to be leaking they would have been yanked. Proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  72. That is the term people use, And, the metaphor also is a double entendre to the signage. Chill out. Its only a discussion. I want both businesses to do well in our community. I have watched the playback have you? Best of luck to both. Its crossed my mind many times and was affirming another posters advocacy. Is the B&B having to pay for the acoustic proofing my understanding was that Zelicks was going to do that and now the B&B is doing it to their windows. Allot of my friends go to Zelicks and allot of my friends go to the B&B. Best, LMC

    PS Was it ridiculous that we had PERC barrels here for years..yes

  73. ON A HISTORIC HOUSE…is the B&B a historic house that is my understanding? Please advise if otherwise. Vs. the new establishment investing in the acoustics on their location – watch the advocacy from meeting to meeting it is posted online

  74. Lisa,

    Let me get this right. Are you advocating impervious cover for the parking lot at Zelicks so it is fair to other businesses that have impervious paved or concrete parking lots? What’s wrong with a business owner wanting a gravel parking lot? It’s much less damaging to the watershed than if it were paved.

  75. On the bright side: Zelicks should be able to save on security for their business, because apparently LMC is always watching them.

  76. Huh????

    themercurynews ‏‪@themercurynews
    @Zelicks supporters ask #smtx P&Z to renew popular bars permit to serve alcohol. They’re under the gun from an angry neighbor #txst

  77. SMsince95, never assume the tanks were removed. I’ve seen far too many cases were the old gas station/garage goes out of business and then sells to someone who doesn’t care if they were removed, say an auto shop, Uhaul Rental, etc. Time passes and the property is sold again after the memory of the gas tanks has faded.

    Would be interesting to look at the deeds and see if any state AS IS.

  78. We have been reaching out to Mike and Kathy since the meeting and have not been able to meet. For the record Chase is willing to meet just about any time. The Katz brothers have already begun to implement most of what they had agreed to. We hope that this show of good faith will lead to a quick resolution. By the way Lisa, the noise ordinace applies only to residences. The decibel level ordinace applies only to sound making equipment operated by the business. So these guys are going above and beyond what is required because they are trying to be good neighbors and good corporate citizens.

  79. David, as close as it is and right under the windows, how could they not have known there was going to be a problem? It still seems they were just hoping to get the OK before anyone thought twice about it and by then it would be too late to change it. Sounds like that’s what is happening now, too. They are wanting to ‘make a show of good faith….for a quick resolution’. I hope they do act in good faith in getting the issue resolved and both places can peacefully coexist. I also hope the Inn owners and other neighbors do not let themselves get the bums rush and get locked into a situation they will later regret. Sounds like their efforts at accommodation the first time backfired on them.

  80. Perhaps require bikes to park away from the B&B? Cut a deal with a nearby business that isn’t open during the bar’s busy hours for bike parking off premises?

  81. Sure, let’s just ban motorcycles (and all other noisy vehicles, while we’re at it) from even driving down Hopkins in front of the B&B as well.

    Hell, let’s ban motorcycles from all residential and “refined commercial” areas in San Marcos. We can even appoint a special committee of LMC and those two crazy ladies from CONA to pick which are the “refined” areas.

    Would that make everyone happy? Ah, probably not….there would be something else to whine about then….

  82. I’m not the one proposing (with a straight face) that a business should somehow be held responsible for the vehicles driven by its patrons.

  83. @Winchester- The Katz brothers have all the paper work from the old tank removal from the previous property owner. There are no tanks on the property.

  84. SM2002, good to see that. I’ve seen a fair number of transaction fall apart because that paperwork was not in order.

  85. Small town politics. Haha. What a joke. Texas State runs the city. City government needs to get out of the 80’s.

  86. Some would call digging up a seven-week-old post on a local news site just to make a barely intelligible reply that really adds nothing to the discussion “lame” too.

    I guess it just depends on your perspective.

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