There is a renewed effort to assure that seating and flower pots placed on downtown area sidewalks are in harmony with city ordinances. This effort is part of what we want to be an ongoing effort to increase communication on city ordinances and property/business owner expectations.
Most pots and seating now seen in the downtown area meet the ordinance expectations for placement, durability and appearance. However, few of these placements are represented by an actual city license. Lindsborg’s ordinance requires that a yearly license application be filed. The main focus of this effort: safety, first of all, and assuring the existence of insurance that would cover accident claims. There also is focus on keeping enhancements well maintained as years go by.
The balancing act, of course, is in promoting safety, maintenance, and insurance coverage while at the same time encouraging business owners to add at their own cost seating and plantings to the downtown look. We *want more* of these enhancements, especially in the 100 block of South Main. These amenities are part of the public good; they are signs of an inviting place to live and visit.
To that end, the Lindsborg City Council approved an application that: 1.) is a single page, and 2.) has either no fee or a fee of just $25 per year, depending on the complexity of the application. We do appreciate the work that City of Lindsborg staff has done to make this process easier and cheaper.
So, how to proceed? How to organize around this?
• If you already have obtained a license that covers flower pots and seating, do nothing now and remember to renew your license each year. Cheers to you for being ahead of the curve.
• If you do not have a license and want flower pots and seating on the sidewalk in front of your building — either in the tree line or next to the building — fill out the one-page application (below) and sign the “hold harmless agreement.” Also please attach proof that you hold liability insurance in the amount of $1 million per occurrence. If you are unsure what that proof looks like, consult your insurance agent. It's easy.
• If you do not have a license and would like to place flower pots or seating in places other than in the tree line or next to the building, first prepare an informal sketch or plan for these streetscape enhancements and consult with community development director Gary Shogren at City Hall. Gary can walk you through the process from there.
All applications, simple to complex, are reviewed by the City’s Design Review Board, and its members are appointed by the Lindsborg City Council.
Not every downtown property/business owner receives our News and Notes. So please pass the word if you are so moved and opportunity presents.