The folks from McMenamins (and their lawyer) stopped by the Troutdale City Council last night to ask for "permission" to allow temporary overflow parking on Edgefield's grassy area near Halsey St. for their busy summer events. Here's the rub: they have used this grassy area for summer event overflow parking for years.
Troutdale's development code, via the sign code, of all things, requires all parking lots in Troutdale to be paved unless the city council determines an event and its parking needs are of "city wide interest". But Edgefield's overflow parking is used only during the summer months. It made no sense to pave over a large grassy field in the bucolic setting of Edgefield for just a few months of overflow parking.
So after an hour or so of discussion about the sign code (the determining factor on when parking lots must be paved, nothing to do with signs at all- is our development code convoluted and confusing, or what!), the city council voted that all the summer events at Edgefield are of "citywide interest".
At the break, I asked Mike McMenamin if I needed a lawyer to buy a beer at Edgefield. Happily, he said no. See? There IS a difference between private business and local government!