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$25,000 ratepayers’ bill looms for outdoor café eating!

May 11, 2015

In a complete and inexplicable about-face, Unley Council tonight voted for ratepayers to pay up to $25,000 to enable an Unley restaurant owner to continue serving customers  on its  Maud Street pavement restaurant.

Only last March the Council resolved that “The infrastructure cost (if any) in implementing the preferred option (of an eating area on Maud) be borne by the A Mother’s Milk Café, operator of the outdoor dining area at the location”.

Moving the motion, Councillor Michael Hewitson (a persistent critic of the rising cost of rates!), dismissed the $25,000 as trifling, and something which would benefit the Council area.

This despite a comprehensive report from Council’s administration which stated that the new Outdoor Dining Policy had not been completed, and based on preliminary feedback from Elected Members workshops there might not be a change to the existing policy requirement that infrastructure upgrades to accommodate outdoor dining had to be funded by the applicant!

In it’s conclusion to the administration report it was stated that the funding of public realm upgrades such as kerb extensions to accommodate outdoor dining has been a long-standing issue of  contention across Local Government in Adelaide. There now appeared to be a reasonably consistent approach amongst a number of Councils that such kerb extensions would be at the cost of the beneficiary business proprietor, unless they were part of Council master plans.

Not, apparently and sadly, in Unley.  Here the poor old ratepayer will have to fork out for a business extension where the owner has apparently been quoted as saying that  the temporary pavement extension was worth $4000 in trade a week!

There is some slight light at the end of the tunnel, however,. The restaurant owner says he will bear the cost of the bollards (fully installed) at $30,000.

Meanwhile, the vote went 10 to one his way. Guess who voted against it and called for a division so that those happy to hand out $25,000 could have their names recorded?


One Comment leave one →
  1. Ian S permalink
    May 13, 2015 8:56 pm

    Prior to anything occurring, does the Council have a written rental agreement in place for that use of public land? After all, the business owner is paying rent for the floor space in the building.

    One could also apply the same logic to residents that park their cars in the street. This space is for all to use for transport and shared space, not for the storage of motor vehicles. Therefore cars parked in these locations must be visitor’s cars, right?

    There are issues that could be created either way. BTW, I’m not supportive of the practice.


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