Sidewalk Cafe Owners Along State Roads to Pay More or Lose Outdoor Seating
Published November 14th, 2013
GAINESVILLE -- Restaurant and bar owners along some of Gainesville's busiest state roads could soon have to pay more money just to keep their outdoor seating.
The Gainesville Community Development Committee approved a new set of regulations on Wednesday that had been adopted earlier this year by the Florida Department of Transportation.
According to the new regulations, businesses with sidewalk cafes along state roads will have to pay an extra $2 per square foot every year on top of existing licensing fees imposed by the city.
Those businesses also will be required to increase their general liability insurance, something many in the business community say could hurt job growth.
"With as fragile as our economy is, and with other issues that we're dealing with downtown, I could see it as being a hurdle," said Diego Ibanez of the Gainesville Downtown Owners & Tenants Association. "It could also be an obstacle in attracting new businesses."
The new regulations must be adopted by the full city commission before they take effect.
They would affect seven existing businesses along University Avenue and portions of Main Street. If the new state regulations are not adopted, those businesses would lose their outdoor cafes entirely.
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