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Ripon OKs alcohol service with dining outdoors downtown
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Certain downtown establishments could soon enhance their dining experience.
The Ripon City Council voted 4-1 on the Outdoor Dining within a Public Right-of-Way amendment, allowing alcoholic beverages to be served in the coming months.
Councilman Dan de Graaf voted no, citing downtown parking and traffic concerns.
Elected leaders hope that these new changes will generate a buzz around town.
“It’s an opportunity for businesses in town to generate some excitement,” added Councilman Jake Parks.
In particular, those eating establishments licensed by State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control along Main Street between Acacia Avenue and Nourse Avenue, according to the amendment.
“This will give them an opportunity to operate within the rules,” Councilman Leo Zuber said.
Those businesses would be required to take out an annual Outdoor Dining Permit applicable from April through October on any given year.
The hours of operation for any business would be no later than 10 p.m.
Minimum clearance for the outdoor dining area can extend no further than the parking spaces located in front of the business and “shall not impede the use of adjacent parking stalls or the traveled right-of-way,” the ordinance said.
A minimum of four feet of unobstructed sidewalk must be made available for pedestrians.
The outdoor dining experience will also have noise limits. By that, the use of live entertainment, loud speaker or sound amplifier of any kind will be prohibited.
Nor will there be outdoor cooking or open flames. The use of portable heating devices may be permitted but only with approval from the fire marshal.
All chairs must be removed from the outdoor dining area at the end of each business day.
Businesses, in addition, will be held responsible for cleaning up their areas.
Those in violation of any parts of this ordinance could face having their Outdoor Dining Permit suspended or revoked.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail