I love Paris in the springtime. I love Paris in the fall. I love Paris, oh why oh why do I love Paris? Because of all the sidewalk cafes they have there!
Spring has come to Seattle, finally (though it’s officially summer), and with that warmer weather, our mayor’s thoughts have turned to sidewalk cafes and why it is that our fair city is not teeming with them.
Mayor Greg Nickels says the current permitting process for sidewalk cafes is too costly, confusing and time-consuming.
Nickels sent a proposal to the city council this afternoon that recommends housing sidewalk cafe permitting within one agency, the Seattle Department of Transportation (as it is now, DPD and SDOT shuttle them back and forth).
It also recommends simplifying the permit review process to achieve a 10-day turn-around and reducing the permit’s cost by nearly $1,700.
The proposal also recommends establishing design standards for the cafes, including accessibility guidelines, and recommends allowing the cafes in all areas where restaurants and grocery stores are permitted.
The city of Seattle currently has 225 sidewalk cafes, about one for every 3,000 Seattleites.