Sarasota News Leader

12/14/2012

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UNDER SCRUTINY Outdoor tables are common at restaurants on Main Street and on St. Armands. Photo by Norman Schimmel BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS WANT TO SEE CAF�� OWNERS KEEPING UMBRELLAS OVER OUTDOOR TABLES OUT OF THE WAY OF PEDESTRIANS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Sidewalk caf��s lend an air of insouciance to Sarasota ��� until the umbrella pokes you in the eye. Then life is not so carefree. Caf��s are encroaching on pedestrian space, say the chairmen of both the St. Armands and Downtown improvement districts. And that is going to change. both areas, and they separately told the same tale afterward: ���Tables and chairs are encroaching on sidewalks.��� The caf��s lease the sidewalk area from the City of Sarasota on an annual basis. The city, in return, requires at least a six-foot-wide walkway to remain, to handle foot traffic and wheelchairs. St. Armands��� Business Improvement District If you are walking and talking to Chairman Marty Rappaport and the Down- a friend, it would be easy to get jabbed in town Improvement the eye. District Chairman ErErnie Ritz Chairman nie Ritz took a sideDowntown Improvement District walk stroll through For no more than two outdoor tables, the cost is $274; a caf�� owner or operator pays $50 for each additional table. Renewals

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