For the third consecutive meeting, Delta City Council members found themselves rehashing a request from owners Cathy and Carrie Boyd to place a bench and bike rack in front of CB's Tavern on Main Street.
The use of public right-of-way by a private business is not addressed in city code.
Questions about liability, installation, maintenance and the possible obstruction of the sidewalk sent staff in search of the approaches taken by Montrose, Durango, Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.
City attorney Mike Schottelkotte believes the city should install and maintain the bench and bike rack to avoid any "blurring" of who owns what and who's responsible for maintenance and liability. That's the position taken by the City of Durango. A representative of that experience shared his observation that once the bench is installed, the business owner often asks for it to be removed because of smoke fumes drifting into the business or because the bench is being used by pandhandlers or the homeless.
Montrose and the City of Grand Junction have a permit process; Glenwood Springs is more relaxed. City officials encouraged business owners to comply with a streetscape manual, but the advisory document has no "teeth."
"We've spent more time discussing this issue than we did spending $29 million [in adopting the 2013 budget]," council member Mary Cooper said.
In the end they decided to let the Boyds purchase the bench and bike rack — which they've been willing to do since the beginning — and donate them to the city. The city will handle installation and maintenance, and will have some input on design.blog comments powered by Disqus