[Adopted 4-7-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016 (Ch. 233, Art. VI, of the 1989 Code)]
Sidewalk cafes and merchandise displays on the public streets and sidewalks may promote the public interest by contributing to an active and attractive pedestrian environment. The purpose of accommodating sidewalk dining and sales is to add activity, attract pedestrians, extend their visits and enhance overall community quality of life. Reasonable regulation of street and sidewalk cafes and merchandise displays is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, including the maintenance of pedestrian access. The intent of this article is to set forth the conditions and requirements under which a sidewalk cafe and sidewalk merchandise display, as defined, may operate by permit on a public sidewalk and street within the City of Plattsburgh.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CLEAR PATH OF TRAVEL
- Measured from the outside edge of the sidewalk cafe fencing, fence post base or other sidewalk cafe related obstruction (that limits pedestrian passage) to the planter/furniture zone where one exists or else to the curb zone. Clear path of travel must fall entirely within the pedestrian zone as defined below. Measurements must be clearly identified on the cafe permit application site plan.
- CURB ZONE
- The first six inches of the sidewalk corridor immediately adjacent to the roadway.
- FRONTAGE ZONE
- The area between the pedestrian zone and the private property line. A standard frontage zone shall be at least 12 inches wide.
- MERCHANDISE DISPLAY PERMITS
- A permit issued by the City Building Inspector for the temporary placement of merchandise on public sidewalk property by a commercial retail store adjacent to the public sidewalk property.
- PEDESTRIAN ZONE
- The area of the sidewalk corridor that is specifically reserved for pedestrian travel. It should be completely free of obstacles, protruding objects, and vertical obstructions which can be hazardous to pedestrians, particularly for individuals with vision impairments who may not be able to detect or avoid the hazard. A standard pedestrian zone should be at least 60 inches wide.
- PLANTER/FURNITURE ZONE
- Lies between the curb zone and pedestrian zones and is intended to house utilities, such as traffic poles and fire hydrants, trees, plants and pedestrian amenities, such as benches and bus shelters.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- Any public street, alley, roadway, sidewalk, walkway, highway, bicycle lane right-of-way, or public way designed for vehicular, bicycle, or pedestrian travel that is dedicated to public use and/or publicly owned.
- SIDEWALK CAFE
- Any portion of public sidewalks or streets in the downtown area in which tables, chairs, and associated exterior property are placed for the sole purpose of patrons consuming food and/or beverages (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) served by a food establishment adjacent to the public sidewalk property.
- SIDEWALK CAFE PERMIT
- A permit issued by the City Building Inspector for operation of a sidewalk cafe which meets all of the requirements of this section and all other applicable laws and ordinances of the City and all state and federal laws.
Use of public streets and sidewalks for any commercial purpose, including sidewalk cafes and merchandise displays, shall be unlawful except as specifically provided herein or as specifically authorized by this article.
It shall be unlawful to sell, or offer for sale, any food, beverage, merchandise, or service on any street, sidewalk, alley, City parking lot or other thoroughfare or public right-of-way without first obtaining the applicable sidewalk cafe permit or merchandise display permit.
A sidewalk cafe shall be permitted only in zoning districts which allow indoor restaurants, or other indoor business selling food for consumption on the premises, and then only if the sidewalk cafe is contiguous to an indoor restaurant, or other indoor business selling food for consumption on the premises, and the cafe's operation is incidental to and a part of the operation of such contiguous indoor restaurant, or other indoor business selling food for consumption on the premises. A sidewalk cafe shall be located on the public sidewalk or public street right-of-way immediately contiguous to and abutting the indoor restaurant, or other indoor business selling food for consumption on the premises, which operates the cafe, provided that the area in which the sidewalk cafe is located extends no farther along the sidewalk's length than the actual sidewalk frontage of the operating indoor restaurant, or other indoor business selling food for consumption on the premises, and all other applicable provisions of this article are fulfilled.
A merchandise display permit shall be permitted only in zoning districts which allow for the retail sale of goods on the premises and then only if the merchandise display is contiguous to an indoor retail store and the merchandise display is incidental to and part of the operation of such contiguous indoor store. A merchandise display shall be located on the public sidewalk immediately contiguous to and abutting the retail store, provided that the display extends no farther along the sidewalk's length than the actual sidewalk frontage of the retail store, and all other applicable provisions of this article are fulfilled.
No signs shall be hung or attached to the sidewalk cafe or merchandise display unless a sign permit has been issued by the City Building Inspector pursuant to the City Code.
Applications for a sidewalk cafe permit and a merchandise display permit will be available in the City Building Inspector's Office. Applications shall be made on forms as approved by the Common Council by resolution. Necessary information shall include, but not be limited to: application forms, site plan details, pedestrian zone maintenance, insurance requirements, and proof of food and beverage licenses and permits. All permit and use fees will be established per § 295-55. The City Building Inspector may impose any other restriction on the location, size or design of the sidewalk cafe or merchandise display that, in their sole judgment, protects the accessibility, health, safety and welfare of the public.
A sidewalk cafe permit and a merchandise display permit shall have a one-year term from the date of issuance unless suspended or revoked pursuant to this article.
A sidewalk cafe and merchandise display permitted, authorized and operated pursuant to this article shall:
Comply with all plans submitted to and permits approved by the City Building Inspector.
Serve no alcoholic beverages on or at any sidewalk cafe after 12:00 a.m. or before 8:00 a.m. All service of any kind whatsoever shall cease at 12:00 a.m. and not begin until 8:00 a.m.
Ensure that by no later than 12:30 a.m. all patrons must be vacated from the sidewalk cafe and by no later than the closing of the establishment all furniture, utensils, containers or any other materials used in the operation of the sidewalk cafe or within the area used by the sidewalk cafe shall be removed from the sidewalk cafe area, provided that any railing, flooring or other support or enclosure used in the assembly, operation or enclosure of the sidewalk cafe may be allowed to remain on the sidewalk area if specifically permitted in the Building Inspector's approval of the sidewalk cafe plans.
Remove all sidewalk cafe structures by October 31 and not install prior to April 1 in any year for which a permit is granted.
Not allow music, from whatever source (acoustical, electric or other), to be played on the premises outdoors between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m.
Not allow advertisements, signs, neon signs, decorations or displays to be placed in, on, or about the sidewalk cafe premises without the prior written approval of the Code Enforcement Officer.
Not allow encroachment on the public sidewalk beyond the authorized sidewalk cafe premises or merchandise display into the public right-of-way.
At all times, keep or cause to be kept the sidewalk cafe or merchandise display free of litter, trash, obscene material, paper and other waste including during special events held by other organizations.
At the termination of the permit, return the sidewalk cafe or merchandise display premises to the City in as good condition as at the commencement of the term hereof, usual wear and tear, acts of God, or unavoidable accidents excepted.
Be located and permitted only where the sidewalk is wide enough to adequately accommodate a pedestrian zone in the area and the operation of the proposed sidewalk cafe or merchandise display.
Comply with all other provisions of the Code of the City of Plattsburgh, state and federal regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Upon a finding by the City Building Inspector that an application for a permit is unable to comply with the requirements as set forth in the permit application, the City Building Inspector shall deny said permit.
Upon a finding that an applicant has violated any provisions of this article, the City Building Inspector shall give notice of violation by personal delivery of written notice to the permit holder or their authorized agent or officer, or by first class mail addressed to the permit holder at the premises address set forth in the permit application. Said notice shall require the applicant to correct said operational violations within 24 hours of receipt of said notice by the City Building Inspector. Upon failure to correct said operational violation within 24 hours, the City Building Inspector may revoke the applicant's sidewalk cafe permit or merchandise display permit issued pursuant to this article. The City Building Inspector shall, in his or her sole judgment, give the violator reasonable time to repair any structure damage or physical violation of any provision of this article. If revoked for a violation, the permit holder will not be entitled to a refund of any permit or use fees. Any appeal of the City Building Inspector's revocation or denial of a permit issued under this article may be brought to the City of Plattsburgh Zoning Board of Appeals pursuant to the City Code.
Any sidewalk cafe permit or merchandise display permit which allows commercial operations on the public right-of-way may be terminated at the will of the City without cause on seven days' notice to the permit holder. If the permit is terminated without cause, the City will refund to the permit holder a prorated portion of the permit and/or use fee for the unexpired term of the permit. The City may give notice of termination by personal delivery of written notice to the permit holder or their authorized agent or officer, or by first class mail addressed to the permit holder at the premises' address set forth in the permit application.
A permit may be temporarily suspended, if it is determined by the Chief of Police or Fire Chief and/or their designees that, by reason of disaster, public calamity, riot, or other emergency, the public safety requires such suspension. A temporary suspension may also be issued by the Mayor due to a special event or celebration on the public right-of-way. Written notice of the temporary suspension shall be provided, where practical, to the permit holder.
A fee for the permit and use of the public right-of-way shall be charged based upon the direct and indirect costs of administration, inspection, and enforcement as set by resolution of the Common Council.
All permits shall be displayed at all times during the operation of the sidewalk cafe or merchandise display business.
The area encompassed within a sidewalk cafe authorized pursuant to this article shall be considered duly licensed for sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages and shall not be subject to Chapter 120, Alcoholic Beverages, of the Code of the City of Plattsburgh.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not exceeding $250. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate violation. In addition, the Building Inspector may cause any sidewalk cafe existing in violation of this article to be removed without notice. A fee of $200 shall be charged to the licensee for the cost of such removal. The Department of Public Works may store the removed sidewalk cafe structure for a period of 30 days; and if unclaimed, the structure may be destroyed, sold or discarded.
Any person who fails to remove a sidewalk cafe structure by October 31, or who receives two written notices from the Building Inspector's Office for a general permit violation as provided for in § 295-53, shall not be eligible for a sidewalk cafe or merchandise display permit in any following year.