Burlingame adjusts downtown sidewalk ordinance

BURLINGAME—The Burlingame City Council held discussion Oct. 20 on the use of downtown sidewalks for display and sale of items.

“There’s been a lot of comments about the junk out in front of my store,” said Melissa Miller, owner of Main Street Mercantile, 106. W Santa Fe Ave. “It’s merchandise that’s for sale.”

She said efforts had been taken to improve the appearance in front of the store, and in the alley behind, and that she felt she had been “maliciously selected and targeted for prosecution.”

“They sent the police to harass me,” Miller said. “I have a bigger investment in this community than anyone sitting at this table. I’m not gonna be bullied.”

Mayor Mike Dorr said the issue was enforcement of an existing ordinance on the Central Business District.

Carolyn Lee motioned to table discussion to the Nov. 3 meeting, which died for a lack of second.

Council member Kenna Burns, seconded by Lee, moved to approve changed submitted by council member Michelle Mullinix, as follows:

Constructing a ramp or step on the sidewalk abutting the businesses property to allow disabled persons access to a building, provided however, any ramp or step built or placed on a sidewalk pursuant to this subsection must comply with ADA guidelines and must allow 60 inches of free passage and can only be constructed after a proper permit is obtained or;

From placing any merchandise, goods, display cases, showcases on the sidewalk abutting the business property except between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. provided however, any such obstruction must allow for 72 inches of free passage and not present a danger to the public. All above items must be off of the sidewalk abutting the business property on days the business is not open and anytime between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. This requirement does not apply to vending machines, heavy benches, tables refuse collection containers or flower boxes intended for permanent outside use.

The action was approved 3-1 as new ordinance (No. 2215). Council member Vikki DeMars was absent for the meeting, while council member Carolyn Strohm voted against the ordinance.

The council revisited a request from Steve and Dulcelina Delekta to allow chickens and other animals to be housed within city limits. LeeAnn Smiley, city clerk, distributed related ordinances from Osage City, Nickerson, Andover and Scranton, some detailing inspection of the chickens by a code enforcement officer.

“We have one police officer,” said Rick Godderz, city attorney. “He’s going to go out and make sure the hen is a hen, and the rooster is a rooster?”

The council discussed options to bring the issue to public vote, with information to be disseminated via newspaper and city hall. The council accepted Kenna Burns’ motion to place the question on the November utility bill, limiting reply selection to “Yes” or “No.”

In other business, the council:

• approved revision of the opening statement of the application for demolition assistance, reflecting 50/50 city assistance up to $750.

• heard from Mark Hecht, who will be running the Burlingame Country Christmas event Dec. 6. The event will be the on the same route and schedule as last year, and a committee meeting will be schedule soon.

• received a presentation from Krista Bennett about the fire department sponsored 5K Jingle Run Dec. 6.

• motioned to let the eCivis subscription and service agreement expire Jan. 15.

• convened a 35-minute executive session, with three extensions, to discuss non-elected personnel. Police chief Ryan Dudley was called into the first and second extension; Smiley participated in the third.

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

The official newspaper of Osage County; the cities of Burlingame, Carbondale, Lyndon, Melvern, Olivet, Osage City, Overbrook, Quenemo and Scranton; Burlingame USD 454, Lyndon USD 421, Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456, Osage City USD 420 and Santa Fe Trail USD 434.

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