Why limit outdoor seating in Hoboken?

As outdoor seating in Hoboken nears, more questions arise

This coming Sunday, April 1stlike a child who is no longer grounded – the bars and restaurants in Hoboken can open up their outdoor seating areas. Whoopie Doo!

Do you know why Hoboken outdoor seating is so heavily regulated?

Just like the Hoboken411 original story three weeks ago that asked why outdoor seating was even stopped during the winter – we have a few more questions relating to this government control freak show.

Can you answer any of these fair questions honestly and with a straight face?

  1. What is the purpose of charging a FEE to businesses in Hoboken for outdoor seating?
  2. What service does the city provide for said fee? Why does it have to be regulated like that? You set the rules in an ordinance, and issue fines if they are violated. Why a fee?
  3. Now, this year – SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED in the outdoor seating areas. What is the purpose of that?
  4. However, passerby can smoke exactly one-tenth of one inch outside those rails / fences. Did the smoking ban get implemented JUST TO INCREASE REVENUE FOR CITY HALL COFFERS?
  5. By allowing local businesses to offer something nice on those “freak” nice days in the middle of winter – wouldn’t that be better for the economy and Hoboken’s reputation?

Either way – I have to say the blooming flowers and warmer weather coming our way is great regardless of how anal-retentive ours or any other city government is. Plus – there are still a few great places we can all go and not get disrupted by the riff-raff!

Hoboken outdoor seating limited in the winter – WHY?

3/5/2012:

Talked to a bunch of business owners in Hoboken over the past few weeks – and with the relatively dry and mild winter we’ve had, a big question came up.

Why are there even limits to outdoor seating in Hoboken at all?

For the life of me, I couldn’t see the benefit for having any law on the books which limits the calendar months Hoboken bars and restaurants can choose whether to have outdoor eating and drinking.

  • It’s not intrusive to neighbors – especially during colder months when windows are already closed.
  • Inject some financial life into businesses that might be struggling, get more visitors to Hoboken.
  • Pet owners would love it, as they can bring their pooches out to eat with them on warmer days.
  • People can smoke and enjoy their cocktails simultaneously.

With the economy the way it is – perhaps now’s the best time to repeal that law! It’s a win-win!

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11 Comments on "Why limit outdoor seating in Hoboken?"

girlboken
Member
girlboken

I think everyone, patrons and local business, would have enjoyed outdoor seating last week. These restrictions make no sense. Like our current Mayor, they’re simply anti-business with no rational basis.

briank
Member
briank

I saw a dog sniffing some of those plants recently. If they get peed on I dont think the owner can complain when you leave your product laying around a public sidewalk.

She also uses much more of the sidewalk than is allowable in that ordinance. I think establishments are allowed use of 10 feet. She uses the 10 feet, leaves two feet to walk through, and then piles her stuff along the curb.

LobstaGirl
Member
LobstaGirl

If this is the case, ever wonder why that plant store next to Sparrows downtown is allowed to have its overgrowth on the sidewalk as she sits out front watching the plants grow? What is the difference?

YouStayCl@ssyHoboken
Member
YouStayCl@ssyHoboken

It’s a pretty universal ordinance across the US.. a number of online references provide info on why they exist, but it mainly boils down to the city absorbing additional outside visitors and providing for parking, etc. as bars/restaurants swell beyond their usual capacity. (i.e., the seasonality provision lets those bars/restaurants get around some other ordinances that would restrict them if they were to expand capacity permanently). It makes a lot of sense for bars with sidewalk seating to pay a fee to use the public right of way. (Actually they should be paying a portion to the unforunate tenants who have to navigate through sidewalk cafes to get in and out of their front doors every day!)

briank
Member
briank

First let me say I think outdoor seating in Hoboken is great. I enjoy it, and I am sure that the outdoor seating in the warmer months brings in a lot of business from out of town, benefitting out local economy.
As for the fee, it sounds like nickel and diming but just to play devils advocate: maye the town needs to cover costs associated with additional inspections to make sure businesses with outdoor space are abiding by all codes etc. I don’t know the amount, but I am sure it is a drop in the bucket for most businesses given how mug more revenue they bring in, as well as that they expand their physical space. Lastly, when a private business uses public space for their own profit, I don’t mid as a taxpayer and citizen having some more revenue flow into the coffers.
Lastly, I am thrilled that my fresh air dining won’t be ruined by cigarette smoke. If other restaurant codes need to be followed within those fences (IE no dogs), than why shouldn’t smoking be included?

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