In anticipation of the Oak Cliff Art Crawl, which takes place April 10th and 11th and will include Make’s Urban Bazaar, Bolsa’s outdoor market, the Better Block Art Installation and much more, BFOC thought it would be fun to dismount our bicycle saddles. Let’s take a stroll down the sidewalks of the Dallas Development Code and visit Chapter 43, which contains all the rules and regulations governing the use of sidewalks.
What would happen if this (or a close proximity) opened along one of our sidewalks in North Oak Cliff?
I don’t think anyone would complain. The sidewalk life and jostling closeness of people and things would certainly make a great experience. So, what does Chapter 43 of the Dallas Development Code think?
Get out your check book. Awnings, street flowers, and café seating each require a $1000 per year license fee – due payable to the City of Dallas. Attracting crowds for amusement or profit, displaying merchandise, and food stands are outright illegal activities on City of Dallas sidewalks. Each violation carries a $500 per day fine. That’s not too friendly, especially to small businesses. How are we expected to create great urban life?
As a city, we should be encouraging this type of sidewalk experience. We hope you agree that our business owners and sidewalks deserve better treatment.
If you agree, you can help. Show your support for changing these antiquated and anti-Oak Cliff business regulations by visiting the Better Block Art Installation at the 400 block of N. Tyler Street near the W. 7th Street intersection on April 10th and April 11th.
The offended Sections of the Dallas Development Code, Chapter 43:
SEC. 43-4. FRUIT STANDS, STALLS, ETC., ON SIDEWALKS.
No person shall have or maintain any fruit stand, huckster’s stand or other stall on any sidewalk in the city. (Code 1941, Art. 139-4)
SEC. 43-115. ANNUAL FEE FOR USE OF PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY.
(a) Except as provided in Section 43-115.1, the annual fee for a license to use a public right-of-way for the following uses is:
(3) Fee for landscaping and appurtenant irrigation systems: $1,000.
(4) Fee for awnings and canopies: $1,000 per awning or canopy.
(b) Except as provided in Section 43-115.1, the annual fee for a license to use a public right-of-way for uses other than those listed in Subsection (a) is $1,000 or is calculated in accordance with one of the following formulas, whichever is greater:
(1) Fee for use of public right-of-way, including but not limited to sidewalk cafes: area X market value X 85% X 12%.
SEC. 43-129. CAUSING CROWD TO CONGREGATE ON SIDEWALK.
No person shall occupy any space on the sidewalk or any space near the sidewalk where the same attracts any crowd or causes any crowd to congregate on the sidewalk or where the patrons or customers must remain on the sidewalk, for the purpose of carrying on any kind of business whether for amusement or profit. (Code 1941, Art. 143-8)
SEC. 43-133. USE OF SIDEWALK FOR DISPLAY OF MERCHANDISE.
No merchant or owner of a building, fronting on any street, shall be allowed the use of any portion of any sidewalk for the display of goods, wares or merchandise. (Code 1941, Art. 143-12; Ord. 3707)
SEC. 43-136. DIRECTOR’S AUTHORITY; ENFORCEMENT; OFFENSES.
(h) Unless specifically provided otherwise, a culpable mental state is not required to prove an offense under this article. A person who violates a provision of this article is guilty of a separate offense for each day or portion of a day during which the violation is committed, continued, authorized, directed, or permitted. An offense under Subsection (d)(3) or (f)(2) is punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $2,000. Any other offense under this article is punishable by a fine of $500.