Council vote sets path for Pizza Luce

With Council action on Wednesday, Pizza Luce will begin construction on parking lot

City Councilmembers unanimously voted Wednesday to uphold a Board of Zoning Appeals decision to allow the owners of Pizza Luce, a successful local restaurant specializing in made-from-scratch pizza, to build a parking lot that will alleviate congestion in the adjacent neighborhood.

“Pizza Luce has become a staple inSaint Paul’s Lexington-Hamline neighborhood, contributing to the vitality of our community. Working together with the business owner, neighbors and City Council, we reached a comprehensive solution to build a parking lot, pull cars off the street, and drive business for Pizza Luce and vibrancy for our city,” Mayor Chris Coleman said.

The Council voted to deny an appeal of the decision by the Board of Zoning Appeals to approve two setback variances in order to build a new parking lot. By denying the appeal, the Council upheld the original BZA variances, allowing Pizza Luce to build the lot.

“The improved parking plan for Pizza Luce is the result of a thorough and responsive engagement process between Pizza Luce and local residents. This is a good example of what can be accomplished when residents and businesses work together to find common ground,” Councilmember Melvin Carter said.

The owners of Pizza Luce heard concerns from neighbors and worked with them and the city to improve their parking plans, including adding a security camera to the lot, making the lot available for various community events, providing tax incentives for employees to use public transportation and installing signage and other pedestrian safety features.

“We are excited to get to work building the parking lot and getting some of our guests’ cars off of neighborhood streets. Working with our neighbors, we have modified the parking lot design to take into account a variety of goals for our business and our neighbors,” J.J. Haywood, co-owner of Pizza Luce, said.