Curbside seating now a permanent fixture in Belfast

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 5:08 PM EDT
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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) -The city of Belfast is continuing to evolve their program allowing businesses to use sidewalks and public parking spaces.

Originally implemented as a reaction early in the pandemic to give businesses more space for social distancing, the program has proven popular enough to become permanent.

At least one business is expected to keep using their space through the winter and will be responsible for clearing snow.

There has been some opposition from businesses that feel the loss of parking spaces to neighboring storefronts is unfair.

The city council is considering charging businesses rent to use public space starting in the spring. City Councilor Mike Hurley says it’s about finding a balance.

”The city hasn’t charged, but there are costs to it. We provide the big concrete blocks and a bunch of other things. And it is public property, so there is a cost and an expense to it. So, we’re looking for the right number. We don’t want it to be too expensive.”

There has also been discussion of implementing standards of appearance for public spaces to keep downtown looking nice.

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