PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A letter sent to the Kenney administration urges Philadelphia officials to reconsider new rules over streeteries. Restaurant owners say the city is imposing expensive fees and burdensome regulations, threatening the existence of some streeteries. Some are already going away.
Outside The Love restaurant near 18th and Walnut Streets in Center City, its streetery has been removed due to a new regulation that forbids them in traffic lanes.READ MORE: Enhanced Risk For Severe Weather Across Philadelphia Region Monday Afternoon
“When they were popping up all over the city I was like, ‘man this is cool,'” Nick Deninno said.
Streeteries are still up across the street at AKA and other restaurants since these are in parking lanes.
But in order for restaurants that border parking lanes to keep their streeteries, the latest requirements also mean owners must pay the city an annual fee of more than $2,000, plus what’s essentially a security deposit of $60,000.
“We were surprised by that,” said Paul Kimport with Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown.
Kimport says his streetery has been a lifesaver for almost two years, but the new costs are burdensome.
“It’s sort of an untenable sort of barrier,” Kimport said.READ MORE: All Eyes On Pennsylvania Primary As Tuesday's Election Day Approaches
Others add city officials should have included input from stakeholders when making the regulations.
“The regulations were dropped on us without talking to the business improvement districts or the restaurants that they affected,” said Marc Collazzo with the Fishtown Kensington Area Business Improvement District.
So Fishtown and other neighborhood groups signed a letter sent to Mayor Jim Kenney Thursday. It calls to lower some fees and eliminate the $60,000 bond.
“There shouldn’t be a bond,” City Councilmember Allan Domb said.
Domb wrote the letter.
“We need to open our arms and be friendly to every business in the city including the smalls ones in every neighborhood of the city. And restaurants are the lifeblood of the city,” Domb said.MORE NEWS: Police: 14-Year-Old Boy Shot In Leg In Philadelphia's Haddington Neighborhood
The city responded in a statement, saying: “From the beginning of this process, we’ve been working with City Council, local business owners, and residents to solidify the details regarding a permanent program that can be implemented in a safe, responsible, and equitable way. The City convened a hearing to take comments from interested parties about the regulations and accepted written comments as well. We are reviewing this feedback and considering amendments to the regulations. It is our hope to address many of the concerns raised by restaurants. We will, however, uphold legal requirements, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and state motor vehicle laws, and strive to balance the interests of all residents, visitors, and businesses who are impacted by use of the public right of way.”