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Grand Haven again postpones decision on beachfront restaurant's expansion

Noto's at the Bil-Mar wants to build a conference room and hospitality suite. On Monday, the owners responded to concerns from neighbors.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — For the second time in a month, the Grand Haven City Council has voted to postpone a decision about whether to approve an addition to a popular restaurant on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The owner of Noto’s at the Bil-Mar wants to expand, building a conference room and bridal lounge. The plans also include enclosing its outdoor patio. 

People with concerns about the project have said they believe it will include a rooftop dining area. They say that would've violated a previous agreement. But the owner says there are some incorrect assumptions about what they're building.

"What they're assuming that that would be would be a rooftop on top of the second floor. What we're doing is basically enclosing the upstairs with a hospitality suite that happens to have a porch so I could write my three books to get some notoriety for Grand Haven someday, and to do some better things for this this community as well. But it is not a rooftop," said Tony Noto.

The owners also say they are not encroaching on any more sand or beach area by expanding.

"We've never asked for more occupancy. We're not looking for that," Tom Noto said.

"In Grand Rapids, we have different spaces for different uses. And some of those uses can't be used simultaneously with the other space that's adjoining that."

The council's decision to postpone the final vote on the expansion was made so that council members can review a more detailed analysis of the deck and ask further questions they might have on the matter.

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