GREENVILLE – The City of Greenville’s administration may have come up with an alternative plan that will allow outdoor dining without the need to lease sidewalks to local establishments. Safety Service Director Curt Garrison shared the plan with Greenville City Council on Tuesday.
The city is currently looking at establishing a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA). According to Garrison, DORAs are becoming increasingly popular throughout the state. Garrison said, “If this would be created in our downtown area, most likely it take the place for any need of having a lease – whether that lease has any monetary component or not, it eliminates the need.” This would allow patrons of businesses with a liquor permit to enjoy beverages in designated areas along the street.
Without a DORA, the business would be required to install fencing with a defined egress to the sidewalk. By adopting a DORA, the city could eliminate the fencing and put in place a yearly permitting process. The business could put tables on the sidewalk, but the city would need to approve the number and placement of tables to ensure the sidewalk isn’t completely blocked.
The city has several options with a DORA, including whether or not to only allow it for special events or setting specific times and days that a business could operate with a DORA. Signs stating that alcohol isn’t allowed beyond certain spots also would need to be erected.
The state also has a requirement that specific cups or bracelets be used by a business operating under the DORA. A patron could not take the cup from one business to another business. A separate cup would be required. According to Garrison, this would also help prevent an individual from bringing in their own beverages to the downtown area.
Since DORAs have been instituted across the state, City Law Director Michael Reiman pointed out the city will not have to invent legislation on how to implement the refreshment areas and can draw from legislation already in place. The administration has already surveyed some of the businesses that could be impacted by the DORA and has received positive feedback. They will continue to work with the police department in establishing the regulations since the police department may need to increase patrols in the area.
“I believe if we looked at this DORA and we looked at enacting it, it shows good faith to the vendors that we want to work with them, that we want to promote activity in our downtown,” said Garrison.
Mayor Mike Willman and Greenville City Council honored Mark and Gretchen Davis, owners of Eikenberry’s IGA, during the council meeting for their recent Ohio Grocers Award and being named one of the best stores in the state. “You are to be commended for being the source of so many families’ livelihoods,” said Willman. “You have made a significant impact on the community through the relationships and friendships that have been formed among your employees, as well as your customers.”
In other business, council members agreed the city should pursue installing conduit, uplighting and electrical boxes near the trees on South Broadway. This would alleviate the need for overhead wires. The project would be done in conjunction with the installation of stamped concrete in the downtown area. The cost would be over $60,000, but several council members and Mayor Willman agreed that now would be the time to do it if this is something the city wants to do to beautify the downtown area. The administration will add it to the list of possible capital improvement projects for 2020. Council is expected to approve those funds at its next regular meeting.