Draft dining policy branded daft
OUTDOOR dining – it seems everybody wants to do it – but how?
Up for discussion is Clarence Valley Council’s ‘draft’ outdoor dining policy which was presented to the Grafton Chamber of Commerce this week.
‘Tables and chairs shall be located ... at least 2.5 metres out from the building frontage,’ says the draft.
‘Tables and chairs shall be located at least 900mm in from the kerb line and are to be protected from vehicles by the erection of ... temporary barriers’.
So where does this put outdoor diners?
Desley McClymont, from Prince Street Coffee House, arranged a demonstration (pictured above) at her own risk.
“I wouldn’t want to put my customers through that – that just looks stupid,” Mrs McClymont said.
“I wouldn’t bother applying for it. There’s a ute there now with its tyres against the kerb – he’d hit the table if it was out there ... and that’s not even mentioning the fumes.”
On the other hand, Mrs McClymont said she would definitely apply for a dining-out licence if she could place her tables against her shop windows.
But that’s where the problem begins.
Council’s Access Committee has called for an unobstructed ‘shoreline’, the section of street where the pavement meets the business houses, so the visually impaired can safely negotiate streets in the CBD.
The Access Committee has spoken to Prince Street Traders about council’s racks and signs policy regarding the shoreline, and negotiations continue about a type of skirting which would allow blind people to find their way around the displays.
But somehow similar ideas have not made it to the draft dining-out policy – the drafters instead opting for a policy which vice-president of the Grafton Chamber of Commerce, Noel Smith, says defies common sense.
“It’s not good for anyone’s health,” Mr Smith said.
One of the policy’s objectives is to ‘encourage an outdoor lifestyle by promoting the social and economic benefits of footpath dining’.
Umm ... maybe this one needs tweaking.