DFW Music News

Trees, or Just Blowin' in the Wind?

So, guess this is gonna be a Very Special Deep Ellum Episode of Unfair Park.

Just moments ago, Kenny Brattain, the owner of Fat Daddy's Sound Shack in Lewisville and the man who plans to re-open Trees as a live-music venue, sent to Unfair Park and other local media outlets an e-mail explaining precisely why it's taken so long for him to re-open the shuttered venue. (He also posted it to Trees' new MySpace page.) Actually, the missive consists of a series of e-mails between Kenny and wife Sarah Brattain and David Cossum, assistant director for the city's plan division.

The Brattains are confused over the city's request for a mound of documents, including a land-use statement, zoning location maps, tax plat maps and a traffic impact worksheet. Apparently, they are all now required of new club owners after the city council passed in June a Deep Ellum Association-supported ordinance requiring specific use permits (SUPs) from anyone with a live-music venue. They just want to open a live-music venue in a building that used to be home to a live-music venue. The Brattains thought it would be simple. Alas, not so much.

"We're just trying to slap the city, that's all I am trying to do," Kenny says when reached by Unfair Park this afternoon. "I just wanted to open and do good and instead, they're making me jump through all these hoops. I am very frustrated. My wife almost wants to give up."

The Brattains have been in the building since November, paying $1,000 a month in partial rent. But they can't open the place till the city gives their OK. And when they do -- pardon, if they do -- the Brattains will not open Trees as an all-ages club, as they originally wanted to do. The Brattains say the city will not let them. Unfair Park wasn't able to reach Cossum.

"If anyone wants to reopen Clearview, they're gonna have to jump through the same hoops," Brattain says. "The city has all the information already. They're treating it as if it's a new building, so we gotta go through all this to get what the Deep Ellum Association originally wanted, which is a good neighbor with no crime."

So, then, is he sending out these e-mails hoping the city will get off its tuchus and give Trees the permit it needs to open its doors some time in the spring?

"I don't think it will, but what it will do is hopefully let them know we're not playing around," Brattain says. "The problem is we're the first venue to go through this, and I know all other precedents are gonna be set on us. The problem is the city doesn't know what they're doing. They've passed this SUP ordinance, and they don't know how to enforce it. We want to start this venue and do the same thing Trees did for 15 years. Why do I need a traffic impact worksheet? The city even demands you have things folded a certain way, or they'll reject it otherwise. It's crazy. I think the DEA has shot themselves in the foot, because they didn't know all this stuff about the SUP ordinance and now the city doesn't know how to enforce it. So now we can't even file an SUP. And where do I go get a tax plat map? The tax plat map store?"

Here are the e-mails Brattain passed along this afternoon, with the most recent missive first:

Thank, you David. However, can you help us locate the needed items? I am just wondering why this is so difficult to do. We have an existing Live Music Venue in Lewisville named Fat Daddy's Sound Shack. The web site is http://www.fatdaddyssoundshack.com. On our website you can find out all about our business and how we operate. If you go to the about section you can watch a "Fox 4" News segment about us. That being said, we are getting a lot of inquiries about why it is taking so long to open the "TREES" building. We also have a lot of people nationally that are asking.

When we opened in Lewisville, it took about a week. I understand that there are new rules in place for the "Deep Ellum" area. However, none of that is addressed in this "SUP" application. It was our understanding that we needed to abide by certain rules regarding business activities. Now we have all of these hoops to jump through. All we want to do is open a Live Music Venue with our great reputation and help revitalize the "Deep Ellum" area. We even have an petition going to help re-open the building. We have well over 1,000 signatures. If you would like to take a look at it you can visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/treeslives/signatures.html

Our plan is to open Fat Daddy's Sound Shack in the Trees Building as a Live Music Venue. Shows are 18+ except for the occasional "All Ages" and 21+ shows. We are limiting our "All Ages" shows to a maximum of 10-12 per month. Along with our regular security, we are adding an off duty uniformed Dallas Police Officer. We are also adding Video Cameras to cover outside and inside. The "All Ages" shows will end 10 - 10:30pm.

I was under the impression from the "Deep Ellum Association" that is all that we needed to do.

Since we have to do all of the following we will do it. Then submit the "SUP Rezoning" application. When I am asked by people and the press, what am I supposed to tell them as far as the date we might be able to open? I believe you had told Sarah it would be April/May is that correct? If so, why will it take so long, we are paying rent on the building and the utilities. Please help us.

Remember, we do want to follow the rules and be great "Deep Ellum" neighbors. We just had no idea that with the new "SUP" law we would have to do all of the following. It almost feels like we are building a new building, while all we are doing is reopening an existing building with the same use it had before.

I really wish I understood why we need all of the following information to re-open an existing building, no new construction and with the same use and zoning it had for over 15 years. For example why do we need to do a "Traffic Impact Worksheet", "Traffic Impact Study" etc.

Are we going to be required to have ALL of these? 1) Proper signatures (Understand this one) 2) Letter(s) of authorization (Understand this one) 3) Land use statement 4) Draft Conditions 5) Zoning Location Maps (2) 6) Tax Plat Maps (2) 7) Correct lot & block or Metes & Bounds survey with drawing (2) 8) Copy of Deed (Understand this one, although we are leasing the building) 9) Tax and lien statements (Understand this one, although we are leasing the building) 10) Traffic Impact Worksheet 11) Traffic impact Study or Waiver 12) List of partners/principals/officers 13) Site Plans (10 folded a certain way)

Thank you for your time,

Kenny Brattain Owner Fat Daddy's Sound Shack http://www.fatdaddyssoundshack.com

On Tuesday, January 09, 2007, at 11:15AM, "David Cossum" < *******@mail.ci.dallas.tx.us> wrote: >For an existing structure you will not need to provide items 14 and 15. (though you may be requested to show landscaping though I am not sure there is any...we may ask you to show required landscaping for the parking lot) >For the traffic impact worksheet, you just need to fill it out and see if our engineering folks will grant a waiver since it is the same use as was there previously (if you even hit the 1000 trip threshold) > >The remote parking agreement is not needed prior to the SUP application. You will be required to provide all required parking prior to a Certificate of Occupancy being issued. You can contact Todd Duerksen in Building Inspection at 214-948-4475 to get details. I encourage you to do that early on as it is often difficult to get a property owner to agree to the neccessary encumberences on their property required by the parking agreement. > >david c > > >>>> Kenny Brattain 01/09/07 12:36PM >>> >Hello David, please help us. We were also wondering where in the Booklet you sent and the samples you send which form do we use for the additional parking we need. The items do no address that anywhere. Can you please help us? As you have told Sarah every Wednesday we miss, means we are pushed back another 2 weeks. Are we now looking at May 1st? The reason I am asking is because we are paying rent on the building plus all utilities. > >I really wish I understood why we need all of the following information to re-open an existing building with the same use and zoning it had for over 15 years. For example why do we need to do a "Traffic Impact Worksheet", "Traffic Impact Study", "Treey Survey" etc. > > > >On Tuesday, January 09, 2007, at 07:15AM, "Sarah Brattain" wrote: >>David: >>Are we going to be required to have ALL of these? Also not listed below is a >>traffic impact study >> 1) Proper signatures >> 2) Letter(s) of authorization >> 3) Land use statement >> 4) Draft Conditions >> 5) Zoning Location Maps (2) >> 6) Tax Plat Maps (2) >> 7) Correct lot & block or Metes & Bounds survey with drawing (2) >> 8) Copy of Deed >> 9) Tax and lien statements >>10) Traffic Impact Worksheet >>11) Traffic impact Study or Waiver >>12) List of partners/principals/officers >>13) Site Plans (10 folded) >>14) Landscape Plans (10 folded) >>15) Tree Survey (2 folded) >> >> >>How do we find out where this stuff is, and if this is what is needed? Also, >>how to properly fold the plans. >> >> >> >>Sarah Brattain >>Fat Daddy's Sound Shack

--Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky