The village of Cazenovia is one step closer to defining a set list of regulations for local business owners to follow when looking to include tables, chairs and other items on the sidewalk outside their stores.
At the Nov. 5 Cazenovia Village Board meeting, trustees solicited public input, and presented a draft of possible guidelines. As the board looks to finalize the codes, the discussion will continue at the Dec. 3 meeting and become communal when a public hearing is conducted before the January meeting of the village board.
“In an effort to provide an inviting downtown environment for customers the village hereby amends the current [Cazenovia] Village Code to allow certain privately owned items on the sidewalk,” Trustee Peggy Van Arnam read from the list of potential regulations. “From May 1 to Nov. 1, vendors may place small tables and chairs directly in front of or attached to the front of the building owned or leased by them, provided they do not obstruct pedestrian flow. They should be tasteful and in keeping with the streetscape of a 19th century village.”
During this summer, a number of colorful tables and chairs were allowed to be placed outside businesses on Albany Street, as a sort of social experiment, hoping to entice visitors and residents to spend more time enjoying downtown Cazenovia.
“I was very pleased to see these different colored tables and chairs in front of the shops. They were very attractive and inviting,” said village resident Pringle Symonds. “I think it added a very cheerful and pleasant aspect to Albany Street.”
Codes currently exists regulating village eateries’ abilities to provide outdoor seating, however questions arose whether pedestrians would be able to eat at the tables outside various retail stores, and if restaurants shall be allowed to put out a table. Additional questions were brought up regarding whether or not the tables and chairs need to be removed form the sidewalk at night and who is responsible for doing so.
Trustees suggested that tables should be allowed outside restaurants as long as the pedestrians sitting there do not receive service from the eatery — and if they are eating, have purchased the meal “to go.” Board members also suggested that vendors wishing to place items on the sidewalk outside their business must remove them when closing at night, and file proof of a liability policy in the amount of $500,000 or more, naming the village as an additional insured on their liability policy.
Some other suggestions for future regulations included: No merchandise for sale, unless special permission has been granted, such as for the annual Sidewalk Sales; no flimsy or lightweight items which may blow away or break easily; no played or piped music; no additional lighting, signage or advertising for the business; and no items shall be placed on, around or attached to village benches, lamp posts or other public areas without specific permission of the village.
A rough draft of the proposed regulations will be read at the Dec. 3 village board meeting, at which point more comments from trustees and residents will be heard.
In other board news:
—Deputy Mayor Amy Mann informed those in attendance that two of the maple trees in Cannon Park, both of which are more than 100 years old, have become too frail and pose a risk to pedestrians and the seasonal farmers market vendors below. She said the two trees will be cut down, and expects removal to occur in the immediate future.
Two saplings will be planted in the park this spring.
—Trustees discussed ways of introducing a community calendar or announcement board which would help increase community awareness and support during annual village-wide events or emergencies. Incorporating email blasts and usage of social media websites were suggested.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.