July 18 hearing on Futbol-Landia sports bar in Morristown postponed till Sept. 5

Like a hard-fought soccer match, the Futbol-Landia saga is going to extra time.

The Morristown board of adjustment has canceled its July 18 hearing on the sports bar proposed for 4 Early St., and rescheduled the matter for Sept. 5, apparently at the request of applicant William Walsh.

Futbol-Landia on Early Street has had about 25 single-day liquor permits per year; William Walsh seeks permission to transfer a liquor license there permanently. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Futbol-Landia on Early Street has had about 25 single-day liquor permits per year; William Walsh seeks permission to transfer a liquor license there permanently. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

His attorney has expressed concerns “regarding jurisdiction and a possible conflict of interest,” according to people close to the situation. Further details were not available Tuesday night.

William Walsh already has received the town council’s blessing to transfer a liquor license to the Early Street location, and town Zoning Officer John Fugger issued a permit approving the use.

But a redeveloper contends the zoning officer erred. Because the proposed bar sits in the Speedwell Avenue redevelopment zone, the liquor license application should have been scrutinized in that context, according to Morristown Development LLC, the redeveloper.

The redeveloper’s objections had been scheduled to be heard on Wednesday.

Futbol-Landia has been pitched as the town’s first bar that would cater to Latinos, and particularly to Hispanic soccer fans. The zoning board has directed William Walsh’s lawyer to provide a legal brief on the complex issues of this case by next month.

The Walsh family operates three other bars in town, and if not for the zoning board postponement, there would have been a Walsh doubleheader in town hall on Wednesday.

William’s son Billy is scheduled to appear before the town council on July 18, continuing a hearing on his proposed liquor license transfer to 10 DeHart St., where he wants to erect a bowling alley/bar.  Residents testified against the proposal last month, complaining about rowdy patrons, parking problems and other issues with downtown bars.

As of Tuesday night, Wednesday’s 6:30 pm council meeting still was a go. The council serves as Morristown’s alcoholic beverage commission.

 

 



Comments

  1. If this proceeds at the same pace as the Speedwell redevelopment, you can expect Futbolandia to open sometime around 2019. It takes at least a decade for anything to get approved around here.

  2. Javier Gomez says:

    I am Very Close to the Futbol-Landia Project. This article is not 100% true. Mr Walsh wanted to have the meeting on July 18th. The Developer (Richard Murphy) had his Lawyer say they were not prepared to have the meeting July 18th and they are not going to be available August 1st or August 15th. The next available meeting is Sept 5. Murphy and his Lawyer are obviously using delay tactics trying to drown the Futbol-Landia project. The most amazing thing is you only have 20 days to file a zoning appeal. Futbol-Landia got their Zoning Permit back on February 16th and the Zoning appeal wasn’t filed until june 4th! That is 118 days after the Zoning Permit was given. This Zoning Appeal should have been invalid and Futbol-Landia should be open RIGHT NOW!

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