Coun­cil con­sid­ers loos­en­ing out­door din­ing re­stric­tions

The Advance of Bucks County - - YARDLEY-MORRISVILLE AREA - By Pe­tra Ch­es­ner Sch­lat­ter

YARDLEY – Year round out­door din­ing could soon be com­ing to restau­rants in the bor­ough, but only if they have per­ma­nent cov­ered porches.

The coun­cil voted on Sept. 18 to DGYHUWLsH D PRGL­ficDWLRn WR LWs RuW­door din­ing or­di­nance that would al­low es­tab­lish­ments, like the Con­ti­nen­tal Tav­ern and the newly-opened Trat­to­ria Rosa Bianca, with per­ma­nently cov­ered din­ing ar­eas, to serve year round.

The or­di­nance cur­rently lim­its out­door din­ing in the bor­ough to be­tween April 1 and Nov. 15.

Un­der the change, eat­ing es­tab­lish­ments would be al­lowed to serve year round if they have a porch that is a per­ma­nent struc­ture and at­tached to a build­ing.

How­ever, restau­rants with out­door din­ing on the side­walk would not be per­mit­ted to serve out­doors be­tween Nov. 15 and April 1 due to win­ter weather con­di­tions.

Coun­cil­man Mike Ruttle, who chairs the coun­cil’s community de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, said when he SURSRsHG WKH PRGL­ficDWLRn KH wDs think­ing about sit­ting on the porch of the Con­ti­nen­tal and watch­ing the ice skaters at Lake Afton.

“That’s go­ing to be an at­trac­tive place for peo­ple who bring their kids,” he con­tin­ued. “They can sit there and get a cup of hot choco­late, Ir­ish cof­fee, mulled wine – what­ever it is.”

Ruttle said peo­ple “can sit there and en­joy a win­ter ice skat­ing scene and be able to do it in a very com­fort­able and re­laxed set­ting.”

He said that “busi­nesses like to think that gov­ern­ment is in their way. Why should the bor­ough care whether an owner of a res­tau­rant is serv­ing on a cov­ered porch be­tween Nov. 15 and April 1?

“It re­ally doesn’t mat­ter,” Ruttle said. “If it’s on a side­walk and we have to keep the pedes­trian way open and free from ice and slush and all of the rest in the win­ter -- that makes sense. That’s a pub­lic safety is­sue.

“If you’re on a cov­ered porch that’s not a pub­lic health and safety is­sue,” he said. “It just isn’t,” he said.

Ruttle con­tends that “the coun­cil doesn’t need to be that in­tru­sive in try­ing to re­strict how res­tau­rant own­ers op­er­ate their busi­nesses. Let the weather make the choice. Bor­ough coun­cil doesn’t need to worry about that. We just let them take care of it.”

If the res­tau­rant wants to use heaters out­doors, the code en­force­ment RI­ficHU wRuOG KDYH WR gLYH DSSURYDO.

In other ac­tion at the coun­cil meet­ing, the coun­cil voted to al­low the Knowles-Doyle Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 317 to hang a ban­ner pro­mot­ing its 3rd An­nual Ok­to­ber­fest, which takes place on Satur­day, Oct. 6 from noon to 5 p.m.

An or­di­nance re­quires or­ga­ni­za­tions to ob­tain ap­proval from the bor­ough coun­cil in or­der to dis­play their ban­ners.

Bill Tropia, com­man­der of the post, brought the col­or­ful ban­ner with him. He un­furled it for a photo op­por­tu­nity and dis­played it for the cam­era.

Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing Har­vest Day, the Le­gion ban­ner will go up. Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing Ok­to­ber­fest, the Canal-O-Ween ban­ner will be hung.

Ok­to­ber­fest will take place at the rear of the Le­gion Hall, lo­cated at 215 South Main Street, Yardley Bor­ough.

Ger­man bratwurst, Ger­man-style potato salad and sauer­kraut will be avail­able. In ad­di­tion, real Ger­man beer will be on tap. Other food, in­clud­ing hot dogs as well as soft drinks will be avail­able for chil­dren.

The coun­cil also de­cided not to meet on Tues­day, Nov. 6 due to Elec­tion Day. In­stead, the meet­ing will be held on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 7.

7KH cRuncLO PHHWs Rn WKH fiUsW DnG third Tues­day of the month.

The next meet­ing of the Yardley Bor­ough Coun­cil will be Tues­day, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. Meet­ings are held at bor­ough hall, 56 South Main Street, Yardley.

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