The Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the City Council approve a conditional use permit that would allow a family entertainment and recreation complex to add a bar/tavern or night club to its mix of uses.

Fat Cats Entertainment Center, 1100 Highway 72 East, has been serving alcohol in its restaurant, allowable under its C-2 zoning as long as sales do not exceed 50 percent of the restaurant’s gross income.

The owner of the building, Charlotte J. Barrack Trust, Rolla, has asked for the conditional use permit to cover the entire building so that a tavern/bar or night club can be added and the operator of Fat Cats can serve alcohol during concerts legally.

“Currently, Josh Noe is renting the middle section, which is approximately 14,000 square feet. He has an indoor 9-hole putt-putt golf course, video games, pool tables, a large stage and a bar. All of the current usages, including stage shows, are acceptable in a C-2 zoning except the serving of alcohol,” Ms. Barrack wrote in a cover letter with the conditional use permit request. “The conditional use request is to allow him to continue serving alcohol primarily during shows on some Friday and Saturday nights.”

Noe has spoken to the City Council on several occasions about Fat Cats, and councilmen have urged him and the Barracks not to put any more money into the building or the business until all questions about zoning, liquor licensing and noise are resolved.

Neverthless, work is continuing.

“Currently, we are in the process of remodeling the front portion of the building for him to expand the offerings for children and young adults,” Ms. Barrack noted in her letter. “In this portion, there will be a snack bar, more video games and a remote-controlled race car track. he also intends to do Air Soft (similar to paint ball) as another daytime activity in addition to the golf. This, of course, will provide additional jobs and tax revenue to the city, as would any new or expanding business.”

On a related issue, commission Chairman Paul Stigall broke a 4-4 tie to recommend a change in the Rolla City Code that would regulate family entertainment complexes.

This five-page document was not specifically about the Fat Cats business, explained Community Development Director John Petersen. Rather, it was the result of a request from the City Council that the city code be amended to cover regulation of businesses with mixed uses.

Petersen explained that Fat Cats would fall under the requirements of this regulation, being zoned C-2.

Mixed use would include such things as a bowling alley, restaurant, bar, arcade, dancing facility and other offerings all under one roof.

In other business or discussion:

n In a unanimous vote, the commission recommended to the council that 715 W. 11th St. be rezoned from R-2 (two family district) to R-3 (multi-family district).

Owned by Xiaoyan Cheng Shuwang Li, the property has long been the site of a rental house. After a kitchen fire earlier this year, the structure is uninhabitable and has been vandalized.

The owner wants to build a new multi-family structure, removing the burned house.

n The commission unanimously recommended a city-owned “pocket park” at 500 N. Bishop Ave., between Kingshighway and Sixth Street, facing Bishop Avenue, from GI (government/institutional district) to C-3 (highway commercial district).

The 3,223 square-foot area holds a large stone sign, flowers and other vegetation, a bench and sidewalk. The sign was built as part of a plan to draw attention to and revitalize downtown Rolla. The property will be sold by the city to CVS Pharmacy, which already has plans to build a store on the lots at that corner.

“The attractiveness of the pocket park should not be significantly diminished through this sale. Less than one-third of the park will be disturbed by the construction of a parking lot,” according to Petersen.

With acquisition of the property, CVS will be able to add six parking spaces, reaching the city’s requirement of 61 spaces.

n Because of the purchase of the additional property by CVS, the entire Bruss’s 1st Addition, where the store will be built, has to be replatted, which the commission recommended.

n Final plat of the Rolla Skilled Nursing Facility Addition Plat No. 1, was recommended by the commission. This is a partial re-subdivision of the Arwood Hills No. 1 Addition, located northwest of Vichy Road across from Meadow Brook subdivision.

The subdivision was approved by the City Council in June 2006. Single family development has been slow due to the recession.

“Riley and Spence Properties (a Fenton company) proposes to purchase the remining lots from Mr. Nathan Chapman to construct a skilled nursing facility,” Petersen said.