Sanibel Planning Department presented a proposed ordinance amending the city's sidewalk sale special events ordinance at Tuesday's Planning Commission meeting.
The new proposal extends sidewalk sales from the current 37 days around holidays to 67 days to include some days outside the holiday period. Sidewalk sales, however, will continue to be for no more than three consecutive days with the exception of Christmas.
The proposed amendment was expanded to allow restaurants to have sidewalk sales, but only for non-food retail merchandise, such as mugs and T-shirts, according to planning director James Jordan and his staff.
Signage for these events is regulated by the temporary special event sign code. The ordinance also places limits on the amount of space for displays, sign placement and general conditions.
The ordinance modifications have been studied since Hurricane Charley to meet the expressed needs of the business community for exposure to passing vehicle traffic. During this time, the Shared Use Paths traffic has increased significantly, providing an opportunity to attract more pedestrian/bike patrons to the sales. Sidewalk sales outside the current 30 days per year have been approved on a case by case basis, so the ordinance is being updated to more correctly reflect reality.
Businesses must apply for a permit that covers all allowable sales dates at a cost of $50 per year. The fee will not change when the proposed ordinance meets final approval.
Commissioners voted unanimously to move the proposed ordinance forward for consideration and two public hearings by City Council.
Commission recording secretary Susan Beck, who is retiring at the end of November, received a gift from the commissioners and honored with a city proclamation.
The only other item on the Commission agenda Tuesday to sonsider a conditional use permit (CUP) application for a donut, coffee and sandwich restaurant at 1020 Periwinkle Way was continued to the Dec. 11 plan commission meeting at the request of the applicant. It is the second continuance for the application process.