Proposed teen nightclub raises questionsSkylar Rekstad wants to open a nightclub for 16 -to 20-years olds in the former Big Daddy’s and Irish Loon locations.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Skylar Rekstad wants to open a nightclub for 16 -to 20-years olds in the former Big Daddy’s and Irish Loon locations. The only thing that stands in his way is the city, and the members of the planning commission seem a little nervous about the prospect.
The Rosemount Planning Commission held a public hearing Tuesday for a conditional use permit for the proposed Solaris Nightclub and Lounge. And while it didn’t get much public feedback the commission decided to extend the public hearing to its July 28 meeting so the commission can get more information and give the residents a heads up about the plan.
The proposal seemed to catch city staff off guard and they suggested extending the public hearing so it could get more information before making any recommendations. Senior planner Eric Zweber said the proposed night club is a unique situation for the city and that staff needs time to figure out how to respond.
“Staff is unprepared at this point to make any recommendations,” Zweber told the commission Tuesday.
According to the staff memo Rekstad hopes to build an 4200 sq. ft. alcohol-free clubs for kids between 16 and 20 in the Loch-Blake Building, which is located on the corner of South Robert Trail and 145 Street. The proposed club would open Thursday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Because of the city’s midnight curfew those under 18 will have to leave at 11:45 p.m. Wrist bands will let club security know which kids should leave at that time.
The club will have several sections and will include a DJ booth, dance floor, a seating area and a game room. According to the staff memo Rekstad has proposed using a mix of infrared security cameras and staffing for security. Staff will include a guard monitoring the parking lot, a guard working the door and checking IDs with a hostess passing out wristbands and taking entry fees. Inside the club there will be four security guards each working part of the space, two bar staff, two bathroom attendants and one manager. In all there will be 12 employees working at all times during the night.
To create the club Rekstad will take out the wall between the Irish Loon and Big Daddy’s. The bathrooms also will have to be updated.
The city’s building official performed a rough occupancy calculation and determined a maximum capacity of 287 people. Zweber said Rekstad plans for a nightclub with an occupancy of 425. To meet that number, Zweber said, there will have to be some layout adjustments.
Rekstad was absent for the meeting but his dad, Chris, and attorney Dave Kellar spoke on his behalf. Chris Rekstad said his son wants to provide a safe, healthy experience for young adults who aren’t old enough to go to the bars.
“There’s not a whole lot of things they can do,” he told the commission.
Zweber said staff would like to investigate making some sort of business license for such a use, which seemed to irk Kellar. He asked the commission not to penalize the project because the city didn’t have anything on the books to deal with the situation.
“Our only request is to let us move ahead,” said Kellar.
New planning commissioner Kyle Irving was the only commissioner that seemed ready to allow the conditional use permit without additional research. He said he didn’t want the commission to overstep its authority dealing with the issue.
Chair woman Valerie Ege said she didn’t want to make a decision without getting opinions from the club’s neighbors including a daycare that would share the building. Rekstad and his wife, Christy own Simply Massage in the building.
Ege also said she doesn’t like the name because it includes the words nightclub and lounge which infers the business is something its not.
The planning commission will re-open the public hearing during its July 28 meeting.