Local Coffee Shop vs. The City
POSTED: Friday, July 15, 2011 - 4:39pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 18, 2011 - 9:11am
EL PASO - It's the classic case of a hometown business taking on the city. The owner of a popular West El Paso coffee shop says if the city moves forward with plans to put up more parking meters, his business doors could close.
"I need to gather three thousand plus signatures in a couple of weeks," Kinley Pon, the owner of Kinley's Coffee House, said.
Pon has been asking his customers to sign a petition. He says the city wants to put up parking meters on the street in front of his coffee house. That would cost some of his customers .75 cents an hour to park, and the price would go up at night to keep the area from being congested.
"So let's assume it's a $1.25. Who will pay that, let alone $.75... on a parking for one hour to come in and buy a cup of coffee for a $1.65? No one," Pon said.
"I think it's wrong of the city to do that," Frank Perez said.
Perez says if parking meters go up next to the cars, he'll stop coming to Kinley's.
"I look for places where I can study for hours at a time. So, if I have to pay more for parking in addition, I might as well stay home," Perez said.
Other customers told us they wouldn't be able to afford the extra parking cost either.
"It's really going to hurt Kinley's," Amber Perez said.
Perez signed the petition to support Kinley's too.
"It's an independent, and it doesn't have the financial backing that maybe Starbucks does across the street. It just seems really unfair," she said.
Pon has gathered hundreds of signatures so far, and he's working to get a lot more. If the petition doesn't work, another local business could close its doors.
"I need to have the parking and the business in order for me to continue to have the coffee house here," Kinley said.
El Paso city offices are closed on Fridays, so we couldn't ask the city for comment.
Pon says he is working with City Councilor Ann Morgan Lilly to come up with a solution.
We'll follow the story and let you know what happens.