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Battle brewing between Westside neighbors, Boulevard over proposed beer garden

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More neighbors are speaking out against the proposal to turn a lot near Sacred Heart Church into a beer garden. Boulevard Brewing wants to turn a green space into an outdoor beer garden----but many of the people who live there say there's no way will they toast to that.

"Whatever you call it, whether you call it a beer garden or a lounge or anything, it's still a bar," Albert Ruiz said.

"It's just wrong," said Mona Crouch.

A group assembled Thursday night said that a majority of Westside residents feel Boulevard Brewing's proposed beer garden is wrong for their neighborhood because they say the garden will be right next to the historic church.

The residents are also circulating a petition to try to stop the company's plans.

Now, the brewery says it is committed to being a good neighbor and has agreed with the church to  keep current hours of closing at 8 p.m., have no outdoor TV's or live music, and host no events outside during mass or funeral services.

Still, Lisa Guerra and her neighbors fear a beer garden will only attract all kinds of problems to their neighborhood.

"Drunkenness, drunk drivers. Kids are trying to go to church, they would be accosted by someone that's been drinking," she said.

"Once they take that over they will be taking this property away from us," Crouch said.

A brewery spokesperson says right now it is still evaluating the project and has not made any final decision. Spokesperson Julie Weeks also says the company does have written support from several officials at Sacred Heart.