The Municipality of La Plata backed down with the idea of removing the shop windows of the gastronomic premises in the center of the City. These days there are different meetings with merchants in the sector to extend this initiative until next March. In the middle they seek to update the payment of the fee that owners must make for the use of public space that includes a sidewalk and a street lane, as this newspaper learned.
In the midst of neighborhood complaints about traffic (narrow streets) and hygiene, many places that adopted this extended care modality, went from outdoor tables and chairs on the street when the flexibilizations began in the last stretch of the COVID-19 pandemic. coronavirus.
As this newspaper reported, this month is the deadline for the permanence of the “annexes” in gastronomic premises. Given this scenario, merchants in the gastronomic sector asked that the permit continue until March of next year, to try to recover what was lost in the pandemic. between spring 2022 and summer 2022-2023, at which time they estimate that consumption in those spaces will grow.
Given this context, from the Commune they raised with businesses that the rate they pay for the use of public space -800 pesos per square meter- should be “updated”. For this to happen, the Deliberative Council must intervene in such a decision.
In the midst of complaints about the occupations and the lack of controls, they say that they will seek to use adequate elements to fulfill two basic purposes: not to hinder vehicular traffic and provide security for diners.
The analysis of this issue is based on the fact that many premises have reinforced the shop windows with structures that are difficult to dismantle: metals, wood, and other elements that have taken a large place in the public space and in several cases, as occurs in diagonal 74 and Calle 12, have unified , practically, the place itself with the “annex” to the “open air”, which in a good part of the gastronomic shops already have ceilings.
As was observed in the first months of the shop windows, the use of a wooden deck, a structure that can be assembled and disassembled in the day, had been allowed. But others mounted ceilings, floors, walls, heating, lighting and there are places that took almost everything without leaving space for pedestrians, which arouses the claim of the neighbors.
Part of the regulation of the use of spaces is marked in municipal decrees. The Municipal norm regulates the location, occupancy factor of diners (1 person every 2.25 square meters; minimum separation between tables of 2 meters or a physical separation) and even the design (prohibits elements permanently fixed to the floor, no type fixed or mobile cover, advertising messages, electrical installations and no element that exceeds the perimeter fence to separate the area from vehicular traffic). At first glance, very few meet these parameters.
Between April and May, when the temperature began to drop, it was possible to see the installation of floors on the road, they added comfort with ceilings and mobile heating equipment, and ceilings in most of the shop windows.
Negotiations amid claims
While the meetings between officials of the Municipality -fundamentally from the area of public spaces- and merchants take place, the neighbors raise the growth of the garbage that remains, after each day, in most of the areas in which these spaces operate, which, In turn, they have significantly reduced pedestrian traffic on the sidewalks.
The presence of waste, in addition to generating nauseating odors, can cause other inconveniences, according to the frentistas.
It should be noted that to these complaints about problems with hygiene were also added the proposals made by different drivers on understanding that in many cases the “annexes” are on the edge of the passage of vehicles.