Sidewalk cafe bill heads for vote by city council

March 22, 1995

A bill to allow sidewalk cafes in Annapolis has the support of the Economic Matters Committee and is heading for a full vote by the city council.

Downtown restaurant owners and merchants favor the measure, sponsored by Ward 8 Alderman Ellen O. Moyer. They say it will allow outdoor eating with fewer government restrictions.

The bill is considered more favorable to restaurants than the one Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins proposed earlier this year. The mayor's bill would require restaurant owners to spend as much as $4,300 for separate liquor licenses and conditional use permits for outdoor dining.

Mr. Hopkins' proposal would allow restaurant owners one year from the bill's effective date to apply for cafe zoning. The law would then expire unless renewed by the council.

Ms. Moyer's bill would eliminate the separate liquor license and conditional use permits, the one-year sunset provision for the sidewalk cafe law and other requirements that she says give the city too much control over a restaurant's business.

Both proposals forbid cafes to use paper and plastic table settings, set a 10 p.m. closing time and would require all sidewalk furniture to be removed shortly after closing.

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