Carmel plan commission recommends rezone of The GOAT site

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The Carmel Plan Commission on Dec. 21 voted 7-0 to recommend rezoning the site of The GOAT restaurant and bar from R2 residential to B2 business after working through several site-specific commitments with the landowner during the meeting. 

The rezone request will go to the Carmel City Council for a final vote. 

Commitments include: 

  • Removing patrons from the outdoor portion of the premises by 10:45 p.m. 
  • Establishing and maintaining a hotline for neighbors to call to report concerns
  • Prohibiting ‘grab and go’ alcohol sales 
  • Ending alcohol service at midnight on weeknights and at 1 a.m. on weekends and some holidays 
  • Prohibiting the use of outdoor speakers 

Kevin Paul, owner of The GOAT, also committed to prohibit many uses typically permitted in B2 zoning, such as automobile sales and light industrial. Allowable uses other than a restaurant include an art gallery, medical center, public park and financial institution. 

Paul also committed to go through the development plan and architectural design, exterior lighting, landscaping and signage approval processes, which means a proposed building expansion will receive more scrutiny than typically required in B2 zoning. 

The GOAT, which stands for The Greatest of All Taverns, opened at 220 2nd st. SW  in July 2020. In the months after The GOAT opened, the city received many complaints from neighbors, including loud noise levels late into the night and patrons trespassing to urinate and vomit on adjacent property.

The site had previously been home to Bub’s Cafe, which was permitted to operate there through a use variance limiting its hours to between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. City officials said they inadvertently overlooked the variance when they approved plans for the tavern. 

The GOAT has been closed since April, when the Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals denied a use variance to allow it to continue operating in a residentially zoned area, in part because some board members did not believe The GOAT had proven it could be a good neighbor. 

In July a judge ruled that the BZA violated open door laws during the process of denying the variance and ordered a new hearing. Paul, however, withdrew the variance request and pursued a rezone instead. 

The commission tabled the rezone request at its Sept. 21 meeting to give Paul and city planners additional time to work through details for the site. Since then, Paul has worked with an architect to design a building addition to cover much of the existing outdoor area and add restrooms. The addition is anticipated to mitigate previous complaints about loud and unruly patrons. 


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