Cafes need bums on seats

The Central Otago District Council has gone full retard and is enforcing a ’12 chair limit’ on a café in Bannockburn.  Stuff reports: Quote:

A couple say they face going broke after the council told them to remove all but 12 chairs inside their cafe – or stop operating.

Jimmy Fairweather, 34, and Katie Funnell, 28,  bought the Black Rabbit Kitchen & Bar in Bannockburn, on the outskirts of Cromwell in Central Otago, a year ago.

Fairweather said their dream had turned into a nightmare.

Three days before Labour Weekend the Central Otago District Council emailed the couple, co-owner Matt Crimp, and their landlord, to say they were operating outside the bounds of their resource consent by having seating for more than 12 people inside, and more than 12 people outside.

Council staff arrived on Friday morning to check the chairs had been removed, and warned they would be monitored over the weekend.  End of quote.

What a bunch of bullies.  People with too much power being heavy-handed just because they can. The world is not going to end because of a few extra chairs in a café.  Quote:

[…] When they were buying the business, no-one disclosed there was a limit of 12 seats inside, he said. Had they known, they would not have gone through with the purchase.

Their lawyer and the previous cafe owner had not picked up the condition, which came to light after a neighbour opposed the couple’s application to renew their liquor licence, he said.

“I said [to council], ‘you must have been in here over the years and realised there was more than 12 seats inside and 12 seats outside’. They said unless there is a complaint they don’t do anything.”

The couple, who are 30 weeks pregnant with their first child, have turned hordes of customers away, and looked on with embarrassment as patrons stared at chair-less tables. Some customers left. Others chose to stand. Some sat on the ground.[…]  End of quote.

Café’s need bums on seats to make money.  Not on the floor – on seats.  Quote:

[…] Former owner Imelda DeFreese said she was the fourth owner of the business and was unaware of any 12-seat condition. […]  End of quote.

So this café has operated for years with more than the consented number of chairs and changed hands several times but now, suddenly, it’s an issue?  I understand the need to comply with the rules, that’s fair enough but these really are exceptional circumstances that deserve a reasoned response. quote.

More than 2000 people had signed a petition started by a patron in support of the cafe, he said.

“The council have discretion in their enforcement. Why can’t CODC give them a few months to fix the consent, have their baby and give them a fighting chance a keeping the business alive?”  End of quote.

Indeed, why can’t the council let them continue trading as is while they fix the consent issue?.  This is just small-minded pettiness.


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