Last night Council endorsed changes recommended by our admin to our outdoor dining policy out for public consultation.
Outdoor dining is becoming more popular along Unley’s main streets, where there are a growing number of restaurants and cafés.
The City of Unley has been supportive of outdoor dining as it brings vibrancy and activity to the main streets. It also provides financial benefits to the operators, thus making our main streets more sustainable.
However as recently seen at Mothers Milk cafe, it also brings issues associated with access, road safety and movements (both pedestrian and vehicle) along these corridors. At times, the competing needs of various users results in conflict points.
A good outdoor dining policy should provide a balance between the safety of all users, access for everyone with all abilities, and comfort/enjoyment of the diners using these areas. While reviewing the policy, it is important to continue with and expand the positives, while addressing the gaps in the existing outdoor dining framework.
At the core of this review, the primary consideration is to achieve the aforementioned balance while aspiring to the overarching objectives of the Community Plan 2033. The following are the key considerations to the review of this amended policy:
The proposed policy recommends safety to be at the core of the decision making for outdoor dining applications. It recommends that no outdoor dining shall occur on or adjacent to roads with 60 km/hr speed limits unless the dining area is protected by appropriate safety barriers (e.g. energy absorbing bollards) or other traffic management treatments mitigate the risk.
There is considerable confusion in relation to Council’s obligations to provide access along public footpaths.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 does not mention the word ‘footpath’. It also does not mention the words ‘continuous accessible path of travel’. There is no Australian Standard in relation to either footpaths or accessibility of travel along footpaths.
In February 2013, the Australian Human Rights Commission issued an “Advisory Note on the streetscape, public outdoor areas, fixtures, fittings and furniture”. These advisory notes are an attempt by the Commission to provide clarity on the legislative requirements, but are not enshrined in legislation themselves.
The proposed policy can be found here