The Ogden City Council needs to end a several-months-long drama and allow live music and dancing at an Ogden cafe. The city's planning commission has already OK'd a proposal that would allow the Paris Cafe, located in the Harrison Plaza shopping center, 3155 Harrison Blvd., to be classified as a social hall with live music.
On Tuesday, the council tabled a vote on the approval until March 26. At that time, it is the responsibility of Ogden's council to approve a conditional-use permit allowing live music at the cafe, as well as to apply several conditions, which include determining exactly what time the business will close and making sure a ban on alcohol is in place.
Frankly, this should have been done some time ago. In January, the planning commission approved changes that would allow the Paris Cafe to have live music. Any further delays beyond March 26 are inexcusable, in our opinion.
Last October, the council denied the Paris Cafe's request for live music and dancing. From that point on, the cafe's owner, Ernie McKown, has worked with city officials to make changes to definitions and standards. The end result was to create new definitions that would allow the music. McKown, who has lobbied officials and the media energetically, says that without being able to provide the live music, his business will fail.
Harrison Plaza is a location badly in need of commercial success. Ogden has optimistic long-range plans for the plaza, which has a lot of empty space at this time. A cafe that allows music for teens and young adults seems like something that city officials should encourage. Once the cafe receives approval to have live music, it will have an opportunity to thrive -- or not -- on its own merits.
Another key reason for the council to act is that previous concerns that the sound level on nights featuring live music might be a nuisance appear to be unfounded. At this week's council meeting, nearby business owners joined cafe patrons in urging the council to implement the planning commission's recommendation.
Hopefully, this business issue will be concluded before April.