Sidewalk regulations adopted

December 10, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

WILLIAMSPORT - A Williamsport cafe owner might be allowed to offer sidewalk dining as long as she's not increasing her restaurant's capacity, the mayor said Monday.

Town Council members voted 6-0 on Monday night to adopt regulations for businesses to set out items on sidewalks, Mayor John Slayman said.

The issue came up over the summer after town officials ordered the owner of the Blue Moon Cafe to remove three small tables with chairs from the sidewalk after getting a complaint about them.


About 15 residents and business owners attended the mayor and council's August meeting to support the cafe's owner, Judy Loiseau-Myers.

On Monday night, Councilman James Kalbfleisch shared a committee's recommendations for sidewalk restrictions and the council adopted them.

They are:

  • The use must comply with the area's zoning restrictions.

  • Alcohol or illegal activities are not allowed outside.

  • The use must not impede pedestrians or sidewalk traffic.

  • The use must not interfere with the health, safety and welfare of town citizens.

  • No permanent structures or obstructions can be placed on the sidewalk.

  • The use cannot hinder the entry or exit to surrounding businesses and residences.

Eligibility is to be decided in advance on a case-by-case basis, Kalbfleisch said.

The council will decide on requests for continuous uses, he said. This includes tables and chairs, and sale items.

Brief or one-time requests such as yard sales or one-time displays are to be made to Town Clerk Bonnie Errico, Kalbfleisch said.

For a restaurant, the tables and chairs set outside cannot be additional to the ones inside or that violates the zoning restriction, Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski said.

The town's Board of Zoning Appeals exempted Loiseau-Myers from having to provide one off-street parking space for every three customers based upon her testimony that the caf would hold only 10 to 12 patrons, Kuczynski has said.

The temporary tables set outside the Conococheague Street cafe this summer added capacity, Kuczynski has said.

Slayman said he believed, under the new regulations, that Loiseau-Myers could place temporary tables and chairs outside her restaurant as long they fit the rules and didn't add to her cafe's capacity.

Loiseau-Myers could not be reached for comment Monday night.

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