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Residents mad as a dog at bar

City may review operating permit

April 20, 2010

Greenfield — Alderman Tom Pietrowski has called for a review of Mad Dog Saloon's operating permit following neighbors' complaints and alleged incidents near the bar.

Pietrowski told the Greenfield Plan Commission recently that neighbors are fed up with the activity - including thefts, drug use, noise, public urination and traffic - the bar at 4395 S. 76th St. has brought to nearby homes.

Those incidents have had an "adverse impact" on the residents' quality of life, he said.

A petition signed by about 40 people requested the city "not renew the special-use permit" for Mad Dog Saloon, city officials said. The Plan Commission will now review the bar's special-use permit and could take action next month.

The commission decided not to hold a formal hearing April 13 because the meeting notice didn't specify one would be held. However, a hearing might be scheduled for May 11.

Speaking at the April 13 meeting, attorney John Fuchs, representing the bar, said his clients want to help improve conditions for neighboring residents any way they can.

"My clients are actually very amenable to doing what is necessary to make it more compatible with the surrounding area," Fuchs said, noting options such as traffic modifications for vehicles coming to and leaving the bar, improved fencing or parking changes.

"We're all dealing with the reality that you have a residential district ending right at a commercial property."

Boulder Junction changed its name to Mad Dog Saloon last year, when it went from a "restaurant which also has a bar" to a "bar which also serves food," according to city officials.

Chuck Erickson, the city's planning and economic development director, said he did not feel a public hearing was necessary at the time because little else changed - ownership and the building's exterior stayed the same and the use of the building was consistent over the last 25 years.

Since 1983, the building has been a restaurant/bar, starting as Al's Rib House.

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