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Zorbaz plans on adding another deck

Zorbaz and the Detroit Lakes Community Development Committee have found common ground on the months-long tent issue.

If all goes according to plan, there will be a permanent addition to the business, but not a building to the west.

The CDC is recommending Tuesday to the Detroit Lakes City Council to follow procedure and pass the plans along to the planning commission before the city gives the final approval to move forward on the addition.

Zorbaz co-owner Tom Hanson came before the CDC Thursday and said that after listening to why the city would deny a tent each summer, he plans to build on another outdoor area "identical to the Cowabunga Bar."

The Cowabunga Bar is the outdoor portion that has sides that are up in the summer and down in the winter.

The addition would be 2,800 square feet and butt up against the existing outdoor area. He said it would take up about 10-12 parking spaces, but the parking lot is already considered impervious surface, so he wouldn't be taking away anymore.

With parking as one of the main concerns, Hanson wasn't concerned. He said there are hundreds of spaces within a one-block radius, including the fairgrounds if needed.

City Public Works Director Brad Green said the city is planning to expand some parking in the Peoples Park area because of the skating rink move next summer, so that could benefit Zorbaz as well.

Hanson said he didn't have any issues last summer with parking when he had a tent up in the same area as the proposed new addition.

A twist to the addition would be a removable floor, so in the winter the business could flood the area and use it for broomball, skating, and similar winter activities.

"It's a multiple use situation," Hanson said. "The end result is that's what you'd like to see rather than a tent."

He added that builder Warren Waytossek, who had constructed the first addition, would construct this addition and have it done around May. He also said that the addition would create six to eight more jobs at Zorbaz.

"It's going to look like the rest of the facility, not like another add-on," he said.

Alderman Jamie Marks Erickson said the proposal was certainly an improvement but she still saw potential issues.

The planning commission will look at the proposal, likely at the Jan. 28 meeting, and a public hearing will be held for neighbors to comment. Zorbaz will need a parking variance.

"I don't see issues short or long range," Hanson said. "We cooperate. When we're asked, we do."

Alderman Ron Zeman said the city does a lot to help new businesses come to town, and it should start helping existing businesses, like Zorbaz, especially when they are destination places that bring people into town.

"We're lucky to have something down there, and we should help them," he said.

The city council meeting, where the issue will be passed to the planning commission, is Tuesday at 5 p.m.