A group of residents who live near the La Hacienda property at 18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Road is opposing owner Russ Stanley's alcoholic beverage license application for a bar he's building on the premises.
Malcolm Stewart, who owns a home near the site in Santa Clara County jurisdiction, said the group has initiated a petition alleging the bar use is inconsistent with their quiet neighborhood.
They say the new bar will be located within 100 feet of their homes, and La Hacienda hasn't had the proposed licensing for the past five years.
The bar structure, which was already approved by the county, is being constructed on a 4.7-acre parcel that the residents say has been zoned exclusively for one-acre single-family residences.
Currently, the La Hacienda property has a hotel that rents a few rooms, and its parking lot was used this past summer for food truck fests on Friday evenings.
"The restaurant has been inoperable for over five years. At this point to reinstate the serving of alcohol on the site requires a full review of the impact this facility will have on the neighborhood, including a degradation of aesthetics and a negative impact to the value of neighboring properties due to the creation of a highly inconsistent use," the residents wrote in their protest statement, which they filed with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in Sacramento.
The 1,600-square-foot bar will have a capacity for 160 people, have outdoor seating and will serve beer, wine and hard liquor between 9 a.m. and 2 a.m. It's expected to be completed next year. Food service is included and a name has not been picked, Stanley said.
The neighbors' petition states the bar's hours will disrupt the neighborhood's peace and that the establishment will be immediately adjacent to their property line.
The Santa Clara County Planning Department has stipulated that no amplified music can occur after 10 p.m., according to Stanley.
Stanley Yee, a representative of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board in San Jose, acknowledged being in receipt of the group's opposition to the license, but declined comment.
A notice of the bar's ABC liquor license application was sent to neighbors who live within 500 feet of the premise.
Resident Curtis Wright, who served on the Monte Sereno City Council from 2002 to 2010, and was chosen to be mayor twice, said Stanley has a right to proceed with his bar project and make the site a community gathering place.
"The success of the food truck fests over the summer showed that events (that would not happen every night) could be well accommodated by the site without significant traffic or noise problems," Wright said. "We can once again have community and private events on the property with the nicety of having adult beverages available at the great new bar, and at community event site at the back of the property."
"The Hacienda site has had a liquor license for something like 80 years," Wright added. "They've paid for their liquour license every year."
Stanley said the property has served alcohol for 100 years and he received expansion approvals in 2009 and 2012 from the county with no neighborhood opposition.
"They don't want me to build residential housing on it ... They don't want me to expand the business ... ," Stanley said, adding that this year alone more than 10,000 people have visited the property without any problems.
Stewart explained that the group has no problem with residential housing built on the site, they just object to high-density housing.
Furthermore, he said, a restaurant that serves alcohol with food ceased to operate on the site five years ago. Now, to open a bar is a completely different proposal.