Minneapolis patio ordinance heads for City Council vote

Opponents and supporters of a controversial proposal to add restrictions on restaurant patios packed a Minneapolis City Council committee meeting Monday night, and after a debate by more than two dozen speakers, the committee voted to send the issue to a showdown of the full City Council next week.

More than 100 bar and restaurant owners showed up at the meeting to oppose the measure, according to the Star Tribune.

Some Minneapolis residents also spoke in favor of the measure, the Strib reports, citing the steady disturbance of loud noise and music late at night from nearby businesses and their patrons.

The measure would, among other things, set limits on "maximum customer capacity" for outdoor patios, bar any amplified sound or speakers after 10 p.m., and allow the City Council to reduce the hours of any outdoor area and "impose any reasonable and necessary conditions upon operation" to address the concerns of neighbors. The ordinance would exempt restaurants and bars in the city's downtown core from the new restrictions.

Councilwoman Meg Tuthill revived the ordinance after introducing it--and quickly withdrawing it--last March when opposition quickly developed among bar and restaurant owners and some diners.

The new measure will be taken up by the City Council next Thursday, June 16, which promises to be another spirited hearing.

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