To serve or not to serve on the sidewalks-that was the question council was faced with when considering a new ordinance that would amend the outdoor seating permit to allow for liquor sales on city-owned sidewalks.
Despite a passing vote of 5-3, some council members were concerned about the message being sent to our youth.
“We give substantial funding to prevention, and particularly prevention of things that are dangerous to our youth,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Boyd-Obarski. “And then here we are perhaps looking the other way and deciding that this is the direction that would be more beneficial.”
Others were concerned about the reduced sidewalk space that would be left for pedestrians. The new ordinance requires at least a five foot wide segment of walkway.
“It’s visually noticeable that it’s difficult and we have limited space on our sidewalks,” said Councilwoman Patty Gustin.
Despite their concerns, the vote passed, with council members citing the one-year sunset on the ordinance that would allow them to review and make changes after that time.
“As long as it has an end date of one year, if we find out there are these troubles that are being voiced up here and materialized, then we won’t continue it,” said Councilman John Krummen.
Up to five restaurants will be able to sell on sidewalks until 10 p.m., with restaurants like The Craftsman by Two Brothers, Front Street Cantina and Sullivan’s Steakhouse showing interest.
They’ll also be charged $500 for the sidewalk permit.
As per the vote, smoking will also not be allowed in the outdoor seating area.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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