Changes to outdoor dining fees
A NEW outdoor dining policy in the Clarence Valley could see cafes and restaurants on Yamba hill pay $90 per square metre each year for their customers to dine alfresco.
In the new draft outdoor dining policy that will go on public display next week, council will do away with the current table and chair rate and instead will charge businesses for outdoor dining according to land value.
Clarence Valley Council manager open spaces, Peter Birch, said the changes are an attempt to make fees more equitable across the Valley.
“The new charges will reflect the trading potential of an area,” he said, adding that anecdotally the turnovers in Yamba were ‘huge’ compared to those of South Grafton, where businesses would be charged $10 per square metre.
Mr Birch said that in comparison to fees charged in the Tweed Shire and Coffs Harbour City, where the average charge is $120 per square metre, the new rates proposed were reasonable and for some businesses the new fee structure could potentially see a saving.
Also outlined in the draft policy is the need for a continuous corridor along shop frontages for people with a disability, particularly those that are visually impaired.
“Council isn’t about stopping outdoor dining, but having the right conditions for disabled and visually impaired people,” Mr Birch said.
“It’s about street access and access for everyone.”
For Caper Berry cafe in Yamba’s Coldstream Street, this would mean the removal of around seven tables from outside their business that, according to its owners, would see an impact on their staff requirements.
For businesses that have approved existing shoreline (against the building) dining within Prince Street, Grafton, Skinner Street, South Grafton, River Street, Maclean, Yamba, Coldstream and Wooli streets, Yamba, and Charles and Young streets, Iluka, council will permit those arrangements to continue until June 30, 2012.
WHAT THEY’LL PAY
Fees per square metre under the proposed outdoor dining policy:
(outside above CBD areas)…$20
Application for approval fee…$80