No restaurant coming to Shell Beach Drive

No restaurant coming to Shell Beach Drive
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A mansion on Shell Beach Drive in Lake Charles was the talk of the town after word got around a buyer wanted to transform it into a restaurant and event center.

While folks living on Shell Beach were vocal against the proposed restaurant, the final decision was left in the hands of the planning and zoning commission.

Steve Shaddock is against the home on 1301 Shell Beach Drive becoming a restaurant, and he let his feelings be made known at Monday night's planning and zoning meeting.

"You've got 25 miles per hour speed zones, and no truck signs all over the road, so we're getting ready to put all this stuff on a road that is not designed for it," he said.

The size of the street increased traffic, spot zoning and safety were some of the biggest issues neighbors had.

"What about carriages during Christmas time," said Don Thomason. "Going up and down that road, and you got people coming from the event center drunk or whatever they might be doing…we don't know. How is that going to work out?"

Realtor Dan Flavin represented applicant Mazen Hijazi and spoke about their plans for the mansion.

The mansion would seat up to 150 people with parking located in the back, and the event center could host banquets or wedding receptions.

When it comes to the location Flavin argues restaurants are located near neighborhoods throughout Lake Charles.

"The Harlequin right on College Street (has) a neighborhood behind it so anywhere you go in this town there is a restaurant right nearby or surrounding neighborhoods," he said.

But Flavin couldn't convince the board, and they voted four to one against the permit request, leaving neighbors like Shaddock happy with the decision.

"I'm pleased with it," he said. "This shouldn't happen. This shouldn't have gone here to begin with. I think that we have a residential neighborhood and we want to maintain that status."

7News reached out to Hijazi after the meeting, but he declined to comment on the vote.

While the planning and zoning's vote is final, officials did say the decision could go through an appeal and be voted on by the city council.

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