By BRIAN SMITH
In a first for the City of Weatherford, council members Tuesday approved a 10-year license agreement for use of a sidewalk and two adjacent parking spaces in front of a business.
John Shepherd, owner of Big John’s Burgers and Beer at 105 College Ave. and the square, had asked the city for the use of the sidewalk and spaces after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day on the weekends. Director of Planning and Development Craig Farmer said the agreement is the first of its kind in the city but other cities such as Fort Worth, Plano and Grapevine routinely issue such agreements.
Shepherd told the council he had spoken to all the surrounding businesses about his plan before going to the city and received encouragement. The city’s recent
Downtown Action Plan found that residents were very much in favor of having sidewalk cafés and dual use parking to spark development in the downtown area.
Under the plan, unobstructed passages for pedestrians of approximately 4 feet will still be required at all times. The city will have five temporary bollards that would need to be installed and removed daily by the business owner, according to a staff report.
Farmer told the council there is a possibility of other businesses on the square wanting to get a similar license for their business. Every license application will be judged on its own merits, Farmer said.
In a staff report, it was stated staff will monitor parking and pedestrian issues to make sure the overall downtown is not being adversely affected. Either party can revoke the license with 30 days notice.
Resident Bobbie Narramore questioned how Shepherd’s proposal would hurt business on the square and said parking close to businesses is already a problem. She also wanted to make sure the area was kept nice with greenery.