City considers code change related to pedlets

City staff is proposing some amendments to city code to help with the expansion of pedlets in downtown Great Falls.

The pedlets are extensions of the sidewalk around sidewalk dining into parking spaces to allow businesses to provide fenced outdoor seating.
Pedlets opening for sidewalk dining May 1, new locations in the works

Mighty Mo Brewing Company had the first pedlet last summer and it has reopened for this summer. Enbar is the next downtown business to add a pedlet.

The pedlets require approval from the city, the Great Falls Business Improvement District and depending on location, the Montana Department of Transportation.
Annual downtown conference highlights growth in Great Falls’ downtown scene

Those serving alcohol in the pedlet need approval from the Montana Department of Revenue as well.

Anyone operating a pedlet needs a sidewalk cafe permit from the city. Current city code prohibits drinking or displaying alcoholic beverages in public places without a city-issued permit, except for certain areas of Centene Park and the Civic Center.
[READ: Proposed code change]

During their May 15 meeting, City Commissioners will consider a first reading and likely set a public hearing for June 5 on the change that would allow businesses with a valid sidewalk cafe permit to serve and have customers consume alcoholic beverages within the pedlet areas.
Pedlet has arrived in downtown Great Falls

The sidewalk cafe permit is not new and it’s free, according to Craig Raymond, city planning director.

Raymond said the permit is just to ensure the sidewalk dining is meeting other city regulations and not blocking pedestrian traffic.

Pedlet owners pay for the parking spots they take up. The fee is half the rate for the courtesy spots since the pedlets are only out for half the year. On Central Avenue, the annual courtesy space fee is $400 per spot, so pedlet owners pay $200 per spot. Off Central, the annual rate is $300 for each courtesy spot so it’s $150 per spot for a pedlet.

Great Falls Business Improvement District and the city planning department are recommending approval of the amendment.