Chow It Sure Would Be Nice to Sit at a Café on the Sidewalk Right Now
posted by June 25 at 17:49 PMon
You know, like in Paris, where there’s at least one on every block. But on a nice day here in Seattle, the handful of places with sidewalk seating are already running an hour-long wait for the patio. Why aren’t there more? In addition to exorbitant costs and long-processing times, pulling a table over the threshold requires two separate permits.
Calling Seattle’s permitting system bureaucratic and outdated, Mayor Greg Nickels on Tuesday proposed reducing permit time and costs for restaurants that want sidewalk seating. The changes, which require City Council approval, would lower the cost from $2,300 to $600 for a 100-square-foot sidewalk-cafe permit and would set a processing goal of 10 days….
Nickels proposed requiring approval only from the Transportation Department, which controls public sidewalk space.
Cheers to city hall! Of course, it might have been nice to get crackin’ on this, like, before summer. But progress is progress. Perhaps while the electeds hold twenty-six public meetings to discuss this, conduct a feasibility analysis study, and mull it over, the legislature could eviscerate Washington’s nanny-state liquor laws so by next year we don’t have to drink behind ropes like we’re in baby pens. What’s with that? And, to promote more sidewalk seating, and eating, and drinking—which is seriously is the pinnacle of urban life—we should build wider sidewalks. Every time there’s a proposed development, some jackals start yelping about the need for open space, so we build these bullshit courtyard wind tunnels between buildings and round off the edges of buildings. We don’t need unusable postage-stamp plazas lined with beach grasses for open space; we need more 25-foot wide sidewalks, more patio seating, more little outdoor tables… outdoor tables with ashtrays, sweetie.