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City Wants More Outdoor Dining, Pedestrian Feel

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Instead of approving a $300-every-two-years fee for restaurants that want sidewalk dining, the city council yesterday sent the idea back to study because they believed it was a disincentive to restaurants to offer such a service, according to the Daily News. "At a time like this, when businesses are struggling to survive, I just think it sends a wrong message of 'Here comes the city again, with yet another fee,"' Councilwoman Janice Hahn said. "I know in my district, we have been trying to encourage this, to get a more pedestrian feel. This just seems the wrong time to be imposing another fee on businesses." The proposed fee would cover the costs of inspection to make sure chairs are not blocking access to the sidewalk. A $1,200 one-time fee to set up sidewalk dining is still on the books.