Safford OKs sidewalk café policy

An artist's rendering shows how a parklet - and outdoor dining area - could function outside Ginaveve's Market in Downtown Safford. - Contributed Graphic/City of Safford

SAFFORD — The Safford City Council gave the greenlight to outdoor dining in the city.

During Monday’s meeting, the council voted 5-2 to approve parklets —outdoor dining and sidewalk cafés on city-owned property — with a few requirements on the business seeking outdoor dining.

First would be proof of insurance, which must include coverage of the city, its employees and volunteers. And the second requirement is cost-sharing on development of the parklet.

“Part of putting the parklet in is putting in tables and chairs, heaters and the like,” said City Manager John Cassella. “So we would sit down with them (and), based on whatever funding sources are available and the size of the parklet, and negotiate a cost-sharing agreement with them.”

The city would also require the business to obtain an outdoor seating permit; and all tables, chairs, railings, umbrellas and other non-permanent items in the outdoor seating area must be removed and stored inside when the business is closed.

Voting in opposition to the new policy was Mayor Jason Kouts and Councilman Michael Andazola.