Monday, January 25

The hoteliers of La Vila have until the end of the year to adapt their terraces to the new ordinance

Some terraces on the driveway now delimit their space and tables with flowerpots.

Some terraces on the driveway now delimit their space and tables with flowerpots.

Tables separated from the wall 1.80 meters, awnings and canopy that are not anchored and are mobile, only a percentage of advertising on the furniture, and platforms for those whose terraces occupy parking spaces on the road. These are some of the keys to the new urban landscape protection ordinance that will regulate the installation of terraces in La Vila Joiosa. A regulation to which businesses will have to adapt before the end of the year (if they have not already done so) when the six-month moratorium given by the City Council expires. From that moment on, the rule will come into force and those who have not complied may be punished.

The ordinance was passed in June and Commerce then issued a six month period so that hoteliers could change what does not comply with the new rules, a period that ends on December 28. Among the changes that the hoteliers had to make is to include platforms on those terraces that occupy the road to “provide security to them.” That is, instead of being glued to cars and without protection. Some of them have flowerpots that delimit it, but it is not enough. To this is added that they must remove the awnings anchored by other mobiles or that the furniture must be all the same and advertising must remain in a very small percentage, aspects that represent a significant expense for the premises. The City Council had planned to launch aid for hoteliers but, according to the Councilor for Commerce, Josep Castiñeira, “it has not been possible.” So the collection of the fee for tables and chairs for all of 2021 has been suspended. “The average paid for four tables is 1,000 euros per year. If that fee is not paid and the pallets are around 800 euros, we are already offsetting that expense.

The ordinance contemplates that the tables in the parking lots are put on platforms. | DAVID REVENGA

But, Has it been enough time to make those changes? Well, a part of the sector assures that no, and more so with the current health situation in which businesses are having restrictions to work and the investment that it represents for some is expensive. With them, the PP and Cs consider that that time has not been enough either and both parties asked in the last plenary session that a new period of three months be given, until March 2021, for businesses to adapt. Both argued that, with the current uncertainty, it was better to wait a few months. A motion that was rejected by the local government.

The Councilor for Commerce explained to this newspaper that “they have had time” in these six months and that this new ordinance is not new. In fact, before this one, there have been two other similar ones on the table that have never been applied “and we don’t have to wait any longer” because the intention is that all the terraces follow the same aesthetic and all comply in the same way. “There are people who did not ask for permits for the terraces or they paid for a number of chairs and they put more. It was chaos and we have to end that, “he added. All to improve the image of the municipality and for everyone to comply equally.

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