Should Council modify the existing law on merchandise displays on public sidewalks in the downtown to, among other changes, increase the number of display days from three per month to allow displays to occur any day of the year?
Under a city ordinance passed in 2014, merchants in the CA and B-2 zones (primarily affecting the downtown area) are allowed to display their merchandise on the public sidewalks up to three days per month, as long as they obtain a permit from the city and meet specific criteria. The law was intended to address an increasingly cluttered downtown and concerns of obstructed pedestrian walkways. The law has faced criticism from the downtown merchant community since its passage and no permits for merchandise displays have been issued since the law's passage.
Council will soon be considering a change to the law to address the merchant's primary concern - the limitation on the number of allowable display days, among other amendments.
The current law: Displays allowed up to three days per month, maximum display area of 20 square feet, and a maximum projection of the display from the building into the sidewalk of three feet (assuming pedestrian passage requirements can be met). Permits are applicable only to the display of merchandise.
The proposed amendment: Displays allowed any day of the year (unlimited), maximum display area reduced to 10 square feet, and a maximum projection of the display from the building into the sidewalk of three feet (assuming pedestrian passage requirements can be met). An additional code amendment will also require that all merchant-provided seating (tables, benches, chairs) or decorative objects, such as flower pots, that are placed on the sidewalk (also know as public right of way) will need to be permitted too.
Do you support or oppose the modification? Why?
Outcome: Council approved unlimited display days & 50% reduced display area
September 1, 2015Read More
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