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Waynesboro Borough Council gets first look at outdoor dining draft

August 22, 2012|By BILL KOHLER | billk@herald-mail.com
  • Waynesboro (Pa.) Mayor Richard Starliper gives the oath of office to new Waynesboro Police Chief James Sourbier during Wednesday's Waynesboro Borough Council meeting. Sourbier replaces Mark King, who resigned earlier this year.
Photo by Bill Kohler

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Waynesboro Borough Council members took a first look at a draft to change laws regarding outdoor dining in the downtown area.

The council asked its solicitor, Sam Wiser, earlier this summer to write an amendment to a borough ordinance to allow restaurants, coffee shops and other eating places to have outdoor dining areas without it interfering with right of ways and pedestrian traffic.

The draft proposed by Wiser includes the following:

Outdoor dining areas may be established provided the following conditions are met:

• Outdoor dining areas may be placed in the front or rear yards of an eating or drinking (establishment).

• Adequate sidewalk space of at least 5 feet shall be free of any eating or drinking establishment obstruction for a clear pedestrian walkway.

• Any items associated with the outdoor dining areas, or portions thereof which are ... within the public right of way, shall not be permanently affixed to the land, and shall remain movable.

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• Any items associated with the outdoor dining areas that are ... within the public right of way shall be removed from the sidewalk area at any time the eating of drinking establishment is closed.

• Rear-yard outdoor dining areas must maintain a fence of at least 6 feet in height.

Councilmen Wayne Driscoll and Mike Cermak commended Wiser for his efforts, but Driscoll expressed concern that asking the owner of an eatery to take down the tables and chairs every night would be a burden, and that part should be modified before the council votes to amend the ordinance.

“It seems like a good fix to the problem,” Driscoll said during the meeting.

“But what about the guy who wants to put out some planters and some permanent tables and fences?

“Besides that, I think we are off to a good start,” Driscoll said.

Cermak said he thinks the ordinance could be fine-tuned.

“We are looking to encourage business and help the sandwich shops and cafes,” Cermak said.

After the meeting, Driscoll said he hopes the final draft will be a win-win for everyone.

“I hope it will be an encouragement toward the betterment of our downtown, and increase foot traffic,” he said.

He said it also could help improve the “visual quality” of the downtown.

New chief

Mayor Richard Starliper administered the oath of office to new Waynesboro Police Chief James Sourbier, who will begin his duties next month.

Sourbier had a large crowd in the audience to support him, including his wife and daughter. Sourbier is the former police chief at Penn State Mont Alto and a graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School.
 

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