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Holland DDA looks at proposal to charge businesses that use outdoor seating on 8th Street

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Posted at 9:23 PM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-05 22:46:42-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — Many cities in Michigan started allowing businesses to utilize outdoor seating during the pandemic.

Now, the city of Holland may be charging them to use public space.

Holland's Downtown Development Authority is looking at charging businesses $2,700 for permits.

If the city signs off on this deal, those companies will have three spaces for several months.

It's a sign of the changing seasons as tulips are starting to pop up in downtown Holland.

Finding a parking spot is hard if you're driving down 8th Street, and soon it could become even more challenging.

"So, it really helped us out a lot. And it was a big draw to the restaurants down here," Hops at 84 East General Manager Stephen Rich said.

The draw is outdoor seating for food and drinks. This year, the city proposes charging businesses that utilize three parking spaces $2,700.

"Whoever wants to do this will apply to the Design Review Board and showed specific plans of how their cafe and parking spaces will be set up," Downtown Development Coordinator Amy Sasamoto said.

The city permit would last from the week after the Tulip Time Festival in May to October.

"A lot of the people that come down here and enjoy shopping and dining and downtown Holland really liked the atmosphere that the extra sidewalk cafe seating would provide dining, expanding into the parking spaces," Sasamoto told FOX 17.

Rich, who helps run with Hops at 84 East says he's on board.

"It's all part of doing business. So we'll absorb the cost ourselves," he added.

RELATED: Grand Rapids begins talks on charging businesses that use social zones

He says the seating located right outside was a popular spot for many stopping to grab a bite or drink.

"Sometimes, you know, waits would be anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours. It really all depended on the day and the group sizes that wanted to sit," he told FOX 17.

Rich says he's looking forward to having a similar setup as before.

"We are blessed to have a lot of regulars and a lot of tourists that come to our establishment," Rich said.

The DDA says the money collected by the permits would go into its general fund.

The plan is moving forward. The DDA board signed off on this proposal tonight.

It now goes to the city council for a final vote.

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