After months of hard work, a city agreement has been reached on amending the terrace byelaw so it is easier to apply and adapted to the needs of local people, bar and restaurant owners and each area. The new articles have broad support among the municipal groups who envisage they will be approved by the Full City Council at the start of 2018 and come into effect as soon as possible.
The Mayor, Ada Colau, stressed: “Terraces are part of the city’s heritage but enjoying them must be compatible with other uses of the public space. I believe we have reached an agreement in principle that gives peace of mind and stability to a key sector for our city.”
The agreement favours establishing general, citywide criteria that will ensure proper use of public spaces and good relations between terrace users and local residents while taking into account the unique and specific features of each district as well as the characteristics of each area.
In addition, “zones of excellence” will be created where terraces will have to meet higher quality standards as regards design, fitting in with the surroundings and maintenance conditions.
The following are some of the basic criteria proposed by the byelaw amendments:
- It will no longer be compulsory but preferable for terraces to be placed in front of bar or restaurant premises. And, with due justification, they may be extended.
- The free space required for ensuring unrestricted accessibility and safety must be respected, maintaining free passage of 1.8 metres from building facades or, in exceptional circumstances, 1.5 metres.
- Terraces may not impede or complicate the use of public services, the use and upkeep of urban furniture, visibility of traffic signs or access to other establishments and private buildings.
Work will continue on gradually removing the fuel heaters which are currently allowed in the winter season.
The new regulations also establish new criteria for the penalty system, in an effort to foster good practices.