A packed house

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 17, 2005

Whether there to support or oppose, residents flocked to the Suffolk City Council meeting in full force Wednesday, requiring the use of overflow rooms.

The highlight of the agenda was the eventual unanimous approval of an elderly tax relief plan, considered the most aggressive in the region. Council’s newly approved policy would shave approximately two percent off the real estate tax rate for senior citizens earning under $42,000.

Several residents also showed their support for Quinton Barnes’ proposal to obtain a permit to add live entertainment to his restaurant and lounge on White Marsh Road in the former Food Lion shopping center.

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The plan met the opposition of nearby residents who were concerned that the establishment would invite criminal activity.

&uot;I have a right as a homeowner to enjoy my home and sit on my front porch and not think about gun shots,&uot; said Prince Brown, president of the nearby Cypress Farms subdivision homeowners association.

Councilman Charles F. Brown said after visiting the business, he is convinced that Barnes deserves a chance.

&uot;I would like the citizens of Cypress to work with me on this,&uot; said Brown. &uot;I’ve had lots of calls on both sides. Everyone is concerned about him being successful and two, safety.&uot;

Council supported the approval 7-0. Barnes said the permit was necessary to allow him to effectively compete with similar establishments in the city and surrounding areas.