Bloomsburg Town Council Tables Vote on Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance

On Monday, January 7th, Bloomsburg Town Council agreed to table voting on a proposed ordinance which would regulate “obstructions” after the Chamber and Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. expressed concerns. Both organizations and several other businesspeople in attendance felt an ordinance is unnecessary and would deter business growth in the Downtown. DBI with work with the Town to better promote existing guidelines and with businesses to address concerns over the next few months.

The ordinance would increase regulation of “obstructions” in the sidewalk rights-of-way in the “Downtown area”, which the ordinance defines as Main Street from West to East and East from Main to 7th Street. The ordinance would replace current guidelines which are in effect. The Chamber’s Board of Directors sent a letter to Council in late December urging them to table the ordinance and work with Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc., the Chamber’s subsidiary, to address this issue in a collaborative and positive way. Chamber President Fred Gaffney expressed to Council that a possible daily fine of $25 to $600 would be perceived as a threat to businesspeople looking to invest in the Downtown.

Following considerable discussion, Council agreed to table discussion until the April meeting of the Town’s Community and Economic Development Committee meeting. In the interim, DBI will obtain the existing guidelines from the Town, distribute them to all businesses in the Downtown and discuss specific areas of concerns with those business owners.