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story.lead_photo.caption City Hall

City board members will consider on Tuesday an ordinance establishing a temporary entertainment district in downtown Siloam Springs for the next nine months.

The ordinance is slated to be voted on with an emergency clause allowing it to go into effect immediately without any additional readings in order to benefit businesses impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

The ordinance is based on comments made by Director Brad Burns during the director's comments portion of the April 21 city board meeting, according to a staff report prepared by Don Clark, community development director, on May 12. Burns asked staff to look at the possibility of establishing a temporary entertainment district.

This district would be designed to help restaurants that were affected by the covid-19 pandemic, the staff report states. If approved, the entertainment district would allow for alcoholic beverages to be served with meals to patrons dining on the public sidewalk outside of the brick and mortar restaurant buildings, the staff report states.

On April 28, the state and the Arkansas Department of Health set guidelines for the first phase of reopening restaurants, the staff report states. The directives allowed restaurants to only fill up to 33 percent capacity both indoor and outdoor dining areas located on restaurant grounds; and to meet the required six foot social distancing guidelines by spreading tables 10 feet apart, the staff report states.

City staff spoke to the Department of Health and they agreed that when restaurant tables are placed on the public sidewalk where there is no defined area of an outdoor patio, the 33 percent capacity directive does not apply, the staff report states.

During the city board meeting on May 5, city staff proposed having an entertainment district which ran from Ziggywurst down to University Street; then from University Street to Broadway Street; the district would follow Broadway Street down to Main Street; from Main Street the district would extend to Pour Jon's and end there.

The directors were split on the idea of the entertainment district and did not reach a consensus, the staff report states. City staff were able to take Director Mindy Hunt's suggestion about reducing the size of the zone and eliminated the Main Street portion of the potential district, according to a map included with the staff report.

Other business to be brought before the board include:

• Placing Ordinance 20-10 regarding net-metering on its first reading.

• Placing Ordinance 20-11 concerning property maintenance code amendments on its first reading.

• Hearing Resolution 24-20 regarding setting a hearing date for right-of-way vacation of 2100 Hwy. 412 E.

General News on 05/17/2020

Print Headline: Entertainment district ordinance to be heard

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