Downtown Business Owners Eye Outdoor Seating
Two city restaurant owners are eyeing their options to allow for outdoor seating at their downtown establishments.
Today, the Jamestown City Council will discuss the parklet permit application submitted by Forte owner, Margaret Kaltenmeier, and the possible purchase of city property by Shawbucks owner, Kurt Johnson, that would allow for the construction of a three-story deck for outdoor seating.
According to the application submitted by Kaltenmeier, she would like a parklet that would have three wooden booths and a canopy structure. The proposed outdoor platform/deck would be 22 feet and 10 inches long and 7 feet wide, with the canopy being 7 feet high.
To allow for handicapped accessibility outside, Kaltenmeier is also requesting to be allowed three tables along the storefront side of the property. She said, with the additional outdoor seating on the sidewalk, pedestrians would still have a 6-foot walkway to the edge of the canopy and 9-foot walkway to the platform. The booth would allow for an increased occupancy of 18 seats. Also, with the requested three additional tables on the sidewalk, Forte would have a total of 24 outdoor seats.
Kaltenmeier stated the additional seating would be needed for the restaurant to reopen because of the 6-foot social distancing mandate for inside the restaurant. Last July, Forte ceased normal restaurant operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant has frequent held Friday pop-up take-out food events since last July.
Kaltenmeier’s parklet application didn’t indicate when the restaurant may return to normal operating hours.
In March, city officials approved the parklet pilot program for a second consecutive year. A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space outdoors for seating for restaurants. The program was first approved last summer to assist restaurant owners with providing more seating after indoor capacity limits were set by the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The permit fee for a parklet is $75, plus a $200 charge for each parking space that is used. No handicapped parking spaces can be used for a parklet.
According to a letter from Johnson, he would like to purchase 16 feet by 61 feet of city property along West Second Street for the proposed three-story deck. He said the deck would be used for additional outdoor seating for the restaurant and for when downtown events are being held. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, several block parties have happened along West Second Street near the restaurant, like during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.
Johnson said he is planning to develop space inside the restaurant on the second floor for large parties, wedding receptions and for live entertainment. He is also planning to develop the third floor of the building for smaller gatherings like corporate meetings. He added with the outside deck and new developments inside the restaurant, he would be creating 15 additional jobs.
According to a staff report from Jeff Lehman, city public works director, to Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, the assessor’s office is preparing an estimate of the value of the parcel.
In other business:
¯ The council will be discussing first-quarter sales tax revenues. According to a staff report from Ryan Thompson, city comptroller, to Sundquist, the city received $1,848,479 in first-quarter sales tax revenues, which is 4.65% higher than the first-quarter last year. The city’s 2021 adopted sales tax budget is $6,713,792. Thompson said the city collected 24.55% of the budget during the first three months of the year.
¯ The council’s Public Safety Committee will discuss the special event permit for the Juneteenth Celebration that will be held at Jackson-Taylor park from Friday, June 18, to Sunday, June 20. This year’s Juneteenth Celebration is being dedicated to the late Councilwoman Vickye James.
According to a letter from Sundquist to the council’s Public Safety Committee, the mayor is asking the committee to wave the special event permit fee and insurance cost for the event. Sundquist states the city will maintain the insurance for the event.