According to the city of Aspen’s community development department, three strikes doesn’t always mean you’re out.
The department, which has oversight over building codes, has cited an Aspen restaurant three times since January because of a sign that is bigger than what the city allows.
Normally, a third offense would require the owners of La Crêperie du Village at Mill Street and Hopkins Avenue to appear in Aspen municipal court.
But City Attorney Jim True said Karin Schwendtner and Raphael Derly were given a “second ‘second’ warning.”
Chris Bendon, community development director, said the city wanted to give them more opportunity to come into compliance. Instead of mandating a court appearance, “we just issued a second citation,” he said.
The 21-square-foot, handmade sign in the restaurant’s subterranean courtyard exceeds the city’s 7-square-foot limit, a restriction based on the outside dimensions of the space.
Schwendtner and Derly were issued tickets totaling $200 on Jan. 9 and 11, and March 3. They paid the latest fine before last Wednesday’s municipal court session.
Schwendtner said Friday she and Derly have a plan to resolve the issue but that she didn’t want to discuss it with the media, other than to say they will be building a lounge area where the sign is now.
The owners said in January that they didn’t appreciate the presence of Aspen police when the first two tickets were issued in front of customers. Officers on occasion issue the citations to help “convey the seriousness of the issue,” the city’s code compliance enforcement officer, Jim Pomeroy, said in January.
Council has directed community development to be more active with code enforcement, Bendon said at the time.
Another ticket, presuming it’s a true third one, will bring the restaurateurs before an Aspen municipal judge.