Goal is to have clear guidelines for outdoor dining, sales displays

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

A revised, potentially streamlined, set of regulations concerning the use of municipal sidewalks could soon be put in place for Union Grove businesses — particularly those situated along the downtown corridor.

The village’s Administration Committee, which began discussing the issue at a meeting last month, delved into the topic again at a meeting held April 12 and backed the creation of a draft ordinance from legal counsel.

Village Administrator Mike Hawes said there already are stipulations in place for businesses interested in using storefront sidewalks as a promotion tool or to provide outdoor accommodations.

However, they have not been codified into an actual municipal ordinance.

“The code currently requires businesses to obtain a permit from the village before setting out tables, chairs or merchandise on the sidewalks,” Hawes said.

There reportedly have been documented instances, however, of violations taking place.

“It was discussed that some businesses have set out small tables and chairs for years without being asked to obtain a permit,” Hawes said, pointing to a discrepancy between the ordinance and some of the actions that have taken place at storefront sites.

When the Administration Committee had its first-blush discussion of addressing the discrepancy at its meeting last month, there was talk of completely doing away with the permit process and instead implementing a series of guidelines via an ordinance.

When the topic was revisited at the committee’s April 12 meeting, Hawes provided a revised draft that he said “would maintain regulations relating to how the sidewalk area can be used and maintained.”

To read the full story see the April 14 edition of the Westine Report.