The owner of a lakefront venue is defending himself and his business against a neighbor who wants to stop the music.
George Tucker, of Tucker Investments, purchased Paradise Tropical Restaurant and Bar in 2007. The restaurant and bar dates back to 1988 when it was opened by the Civitate family. Paradise is located at the 24 mile marker by water. By land, it is located on Tropical Trail, on the westside of Lake of the Ozarks. During the summer season, Paradise has live music until 11 p.m.
In order to have live music, the neighbor, Richard Danowsky, alleges Paradise needs a different type of zoning to be in compliance with Camden County planning and zoning rules.
The zoning issue dates back to 2008.
That was when Tucker rezoned a bordering lot to the south of Paradise from residential to commercial. At that time, the plan was to expand the kitchen and put an office on this lot.
Now, three years later after completion of the project, the owner of Paradise has found himself in court.
"We ended up expanding the kitchen and adding an office without making it to the newly zoned lot that is currently vacant," Tucker said.
By mid-2009, Tucker said they decided they needed to make some changes to compete with all the "vibrant establishments" here on the lake.
"With some ideas in mind we went to planning and zoning, they gave us the guidelines and told us to have it drawn up and bring it back. Take note that there was frequent correspondence with authorities. We sought and received guidance to stay within the law. After many weeks of meeting with the architect and planning and zoning we had our final agreed upon prints," Tucker said. "The Paradise addition was not drawn up on a bar napkin, it was well-researched and signed off on by all departments of the government necessary."
According to Tucker, Danowsky falsely stated that he did not get building permits.
Tucker said they had a planning and zoning commercial construction permit and a permit from the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District. The plans were engineered and local departments made frequent visits to the construction site for inspections.
"I want to say first off that we are loved by many neighbors and that the beliefs of the plaintiff are most certainly not the beliefs of all of our neighbors. Most consider Paradise as the neighborhood gathering spot. Neighbor kids run back and forth from home to get snacks and milkshakes. The article in the paper last week quoted the plaintiff comparing Paradise to an 'Animal House' when in reality our live music stops at 11 p.m. and we are usually closed right after," he said. "The most out-of-control part of the week is Saturday afternoon when we have a hula hoop and limbo contest for the kids. We are Paradise Tropical Restaurant & Bar not bar and restaurant. Seventy-five percent of our sales are for food. We are known for our food. Does an animal house serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and close by midnight?"
Page 2 of 2 - According to Tucker, Paradise was served with a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction along with a petition for preliminary and permanent injunctions April 5. In court April 10, the judge did not grant a temporary restraining order, nor did he grant a preliminary injunction. The judge ruled that business at Paradise will remain as usual until the case goes to trial. A trial has been set for May 30.
"Live music cannot be heard at either of our homes when inside," Tucker said. Tucker owns the two homes immediately next to Paradise. The Danowskys live next to the homes owned by the Tuckers.
"It should also be noted that the plaintiff's home was built accidentally over the property line onto Paradise property. After a settlement, a sliver of land was sold to plaintiff by Civitates (previous owners of Paradise)," Tucker said. "After a recent survey it was found that plaintiff erected a newer deck, flower bed, and part of a fence on the Paradise property. Again, back on Paradise property. We are not seeking compensation nor do we desire that these be encroachments removed. Peace is what we want. We want to work with the plaintiff."