Lady P, popular Renton blogger known for her photo-rich journal “the Picaroon”, reported in this posting on Monday that the owner of the new Liberty Cafe on Third Street would like city permission to install an awning over the sidewalk in front of his business.
I’m happy to report that yesterday a memo was released by city hall giving him the approval he desires.
The city staff are committed to helping make businesses successful in our city. Please be sure to visit the Liberty Cafe, as well as all the other great coffee shops, restaurants, shops, salons, and other ammenities our downtown has to offer.
Here is the text of the memo released yesterday (the original was released as a letter on city letterhead):
Alex Pietsch, CED Administrator
Neil Watts, Development Services Director (x-7218)
Liberty Café Retractable Awning Request
The owner of the new Liberty Café 926 S 3rd Street recently applied for a building permit for a retractable awning to be installed over the public sidewalk in front of his café. The retractable awning system is not designed to meet building code requirements for wind and snow loads, and the request was denied. The café owner was advised to consider a permanent awning designed to meet code load requirements. The café owner then met with Development Services staff to further discuss the issue. The building owner will not permit the installation of permanent canopies on the building. The awning is an important element for this new business, which can be overlooked at its small mid-block location. City staff explained the concerns with public safety, particularly if the canopy was not retracted during inclement weather conditions. City staff also explained the concerns of establishing a precedent which might not be correctly maintained at another location.
Based on this discussion, a compromise was agreed upon to allow the café owner to proceed with installation of the temporary awning. The temporary awning will be permitted under a street use permit, subject to conditions. The conditions for approval are as follows:
1. The awning must be installed at a minimum height of ten feet, and can be
extended out a maximum of four feet.
2. The awning must be equipped with a sensor for wind, which will automatically retract the awning during windy conditions.
3. The awning can only be extended when the business is open, and must be
retracted at all other times.
4. The owner must provide public liability insurance with limits of not less than $100,000/$300,000 of public liability. The insurance policy must have a special endorsement in favor of the City.
5. The owner must also provide a hold harmless and indemnity agreement.
6. The permit is revocable by the City, and shall be subject to termination upon thirty days written notice by the City if the conditions of the street use permit are violated.
The café owner stated that these conditions were acceptable, and was willing to proceed upon that basis. Upon issuance of the street use permit, the building section will be able to issue the building permit for the retractable awning for this new business.
cc: Denis Law, Mayor
Jay Covington, CAO
Suzanne Dale Estey, Economic Development Director
Chip Vincent, Planning Director
Jennifer Davis Hayes, Community Development Project Manager
Bonnie Walton, City Clerk