Update: Patio Dining Ordinance

Aug 26, 2013


My topic this week is the patio dining ordinance update.

The city met with the public to hear suggestions and ideas about updating the city ordinance pertaining to patio dining within the whole city and not just downtown’s entertainment district. Discussions were mostly about the hours, sidewalk space, and security.

I took an interest in the security part when it was asked if the city could provide a couple of police officers to patrol downtown during the rowdy hours. The request was backed down a little when the tight budget was mentioned. The group thought they could do some fundraising to hire off-duty police officers. I hope downtown follows through with providing their own security and not try to pass the expenditure onto the taxpayer.

Our police officers should never have to be in the position of having to babysit or play bouncers to downtown establishments. There are other establishments that are not in the downtown area that hire their own security, so why would downtown think the taxpayer should pick up the expense?

Introducing more security doesn’t address the root cause of the problem, which seems to come from serving way to much alcohol to patrons to the point where they get loud, obnoxious, and start fights. When do the establishments start to take on the responsibility of telling patrons they have had too much to drink and just stop serving them before they get to the point of inappropriate behavior? There are rules and regulations for serving an already intoxicated person so things do not get out of control. Just because the establishments are within the entertainment district doesn’t automatically mean that it is normal for things to get out of control and that the residents should expect that kind of behavior when moving into the downtown area.

If the police are called on a regular basis to break up fights from too much drinking, there should be a hefty surcharge to the establishments for repeated disturbances and a possibility of revoking their liquor licenses when it comes up for renewal. Once the establishments are surcharged for nuisance calls, there will be fewer calls to the downtown area.

Until next week, an out-of-control entertainment district is not something anyone would like to see ruin downtown since it has come so far in the beautification process.



...apparently Mrs. Johnson has never traveled to other successful downtown areas where foot patrols are always present.

Mrs. Johnson also assumes this is to control over-served patrol who are out of control When you have a busy downtown, alcohol isn't the only problem - busy stores and busy restaurants attract people who want to take advantage of the multitude of patrons or gawking tourists.

The City (and Mrs. Johnson) can't have it both ways. How are you going to encourage AND SUPPORT development and entrepreneurs if you always pass the buck to them or treat them like THEY are the problem? It's a cost of doing business for the City. Really, that would be like saying Cedar Point should pay for every police call to a hotel or every ambulance run on 250.


"that would be like saying Cedar Point should pay for every police call to a hotel or every ambulance run on 250." GREAT IDEA!


And then like many other businesses, Cedar Point would take their business to a town where they are wanted. Then what do you have left? The City has already run out enough people, they need to be welcoming with open arms.

From the Grave

You are all arguing over this because 50 idiots came into town and started a huge brawl in the street. THIS is the real issue, not patio dining. Get real.


This is symptomatic of the decline of Sandusky and elsewhere.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


Lets revoke the businesses liquor license because their patrons get out of control (which can be for any number of reasons, not just over intoxication) and put them out of business. Lets start charging them every time they have a disturbance too. Most downtown areas that I have been too always have either foot patrols or regular car patrols to keep people in the mindset that we are being watched.

Sounds like a great way to increase foot traffic downtown to continue the revitalization. Might have a pretty downtown but nobody is going to use it.


Really, Sharon? Bars should be responsible to decide who's had enough? What's next? Are you going to demand restaurants station people at buffets to turn away people who are too fat?

Bad behavior is the fault of the individual, not the bartender nor the chef. Stop blaming Mommy or anybody else because you've got issues!

Certainly, I'd like to see more bars ban people after they've proved they bring trouble with them. But holding bars (or any other establishment) responsible for the behavior in the first place is just offering up more excuses for those who CHOOSE to behave in an inexcusable fashion.


Most any downtown area I have ever been to has foot and/or bike patrol. A noticeable police presence can have a calming effect on MOST (not all, but those who have half a brain). Why is it always someone else's responsibility? This is the problem with America. Noone wants to be responsible. Blame someone else. Not my fault. It was my 3rd grade teacher's fault. It was the bus drivers fault. It was my mechanic's fault. It was the bartender's fault. It was the bouncer's fault. Here is an idea......if you cannot handle your liquor do NOT go out and drink. Be an adult and no your limit. Or at least have a friend that has the testicular fortitude to tell you your limit.


Our city forefathers ruined downtown Sandusky some 40 years ago, today they are preparing to do the same thing. You can not regulate crime, its going to happen drunk or sober. Bars have a responsibility to assure patrons are not over served to point of them creating turmoil. The city has a responsibility to protect and serve the citizens.
An idea would be to cut back on speed traps and place two officers on the weekends downtown walking a beat. There are many things to learn when you walk rather than just drive by. By no means is downtown a Vegas, but they party on the streets there and police maintain order and they get to know the people who frequent the area. (knowledge is power).
Dont let city legislators kill downtown again..




Well, all comments are good. And Sharon, your thoughts are appreciated. For anyone living downtown, you purchased your place knowing the Jet, Goodtime, dining, bars are all dowtown, Boo Hoo, in the US you do have the right to sell and move. There is the option of a special tax, maybe a couple from the condo in the Hubbard might step up to address the issue by geting residents to fund the police overtime. When the mall got built, it took the life out of dowtown, let it thrive.


@ Browndogbone

Typical answer from the bar owners downtown--don't like it move.

The best way to destroy the positive things happening downtown is for bar owners to bury their heads in hole being dug chasing out residents living downtown.

In order for a thriving downtown to continue, residential living is a must. The establishment of an Entertainment District downtown may end up not as appealing as supporters thought.

The bars and bar patrons are responsible for addressing this issue so let them pay for off duty police or hire a private security firm on weekends. Why should I pay?


To further the development of downtown, you need a Rite Aid, CVS, given Cardinal is close, most cannot get there. Also you need a Hotel that will give tourists a place to stay downtown. Look how far downtown has come, but many buildings still need alot of work, they do not pay their property taxes and just wait while they fall apart. REMEMBER, history and photo's will show, the many Bars downtown were here way before any condo's were even a thought. Woolworth, Jupitor, LaSalle, Caryl Crane, Gray drug, Marv Byer, Manhatten clothing, Dr. Widdeo's DDS, the Hahn's clothing company, the list goes on....... etc were all here and were fine with the the bars. I do not see alot of people fleeing Kelley's Island or Put In Bay residences.


Take a peak at Wooster Ohio's Main Street Wooster Inc's. mission statement--promote ENTERTAINMANT and LIVING. www.mainstreetwooster.org

Numerous articles have been written concerning the death of downtowns thanks to urban sprawl. The towns seeing a resurgence of their downtowns have realized and implemented a plan to provide a mix of retail, commercial and PERMANENT residential living.

A hotel--what for 5 months out of the year?
Heck--a number of hotels in the Sandusky city limits close during the winter.

As for Put-n-Bay. The commercial area (downtown) is well away from the residential areas--no comparison with Sandusky as far as the issue at hand.

T. A. Schwanger


@ Pavedparadise:

I agree with your opinion.
A number of web-pages and authors on reviving downtown centers agree.

eHow Web-page:::

Ideas to Revive a Downtown Area::By William Carne, eHow Contributor:
Downtown revivals become important in economic crises.

"Failing city centers can come about through any number of reasons including economic trouble, expensive policies or even natural disasters. In such cases, local governments need to revive downtown areas in order to attract new business. There are a number of different ways to accomplish downtown revivals but no matter the method, one constant remains the same: it's not cheap. To use money to the greatest potential a city needs to use its natural resources including rivers, sea-side spaces, parks and so on to help maximize effectiveness for minimal cost"......."Green spaces are an important factor for livability and downtown morale. Riverside or seaside promenades are near necessities and failing the natural advantages of waterside downtowns, large parks and green spaces can fill the void with just as much efficiency. Cycling trails and comfortable sidewalks and walking spaces add to green spaces and encourage eco-friendly transportation and sport to and from work. Other community attractions such as public squares, also help to improve social gatherings and provide a city center with more energy".

Additional reading::



FYI, many of the local Hotels close after he season, that helps them. They appear to do fine. Cedar Point does not keep open the Breakers and Sand Castle Suites. Duh, do a P & L. The best homes on Kelley's are in the downtown area and within walking distance. As to PIB, there are many nice places on the side streets around the the park and downtown. Get a golf cart and map and see for yourself.