The Ripon City Council continues to work towards offering more for the downtown dining experience.
At Tuesday’s meeting, elected leaders approved the recent changes to the ordinance that will soon pave the way for alcohol beverages to be served in an outdoor setting at those qualified commercial establishments on Main Street between Acacia Avenue and Nourse Avenue.
The other part of the amended municipal code would allow for alcohol consumption as part of an organized-based event at the Mistlin Sports Amphitheater.
“It’s taking us a long time to create a situation where businesses can (someday) do this,” Councilman Leo Zuber said. “Now, it’ll be up to the business people – they’ll have to find a way to make it work.”
This includes the participating places taking on the responsibility of policing themselves, he added.
The ordinance, once enacted, would require interested business owners in this area to apply for Outdoor Dining Permits.
The outdoor areas would also be confined to the parking spaces located directly in front of the eating establishment.
The permitted area of use would be from April through October.
Hours of operation in the outdoor dining areas would be as late as 10 p.m.
What can and can’t be served would depend on the Alcoholic Beverage Control license of that business.
“I like the concept, but I question the effectiveness,” said Councilman Daniel de Graaf.
His big concern is the potential parking woes in downtown, in particular, those businesses not associated with the outdoor dining experience.
He referenced the situation in Livermore, where the demands for parking increased steadily along with area’s revitalization.
Mayor Dean Uecker, for one, doesn’t see this as a problem in Ripon, pointing out that many of the non-restaurant businesses in downtown often close for the day earlier in the evening.
Council is scheduled to take one last look at the amendments to this ordinance before taking a final vote.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.