Licenses to be required for outdoor dining, seating in Mundelein
Mundelein restaurants offering dining on sidewalks, streets and other village-owned property soon will have to pay for the service -- but the exact fees haven't been finalized.
The village board this week unanimously approved a licensing process for outdoor dining, seating and entertainment on public property.
Food trucks operating in such areas will have to buy licenses, too.
Outdoor dining or seating areas with room only for four or fewer people are exempt.
The fees for the licenses haven't been determined. A cost structure included in a preliminary draft of the rules was removed before the village board's vote.
"Staff's going to go back and take a look at that," Village Administrator Eric Guenther said during Monday's meeting. "(It) needs a little bit more attention."
Administrators will propose new fees at a future board meeting, Guenther said.
The move comes during the second season of outdoor dining on Park Street in downtown Mundelein. The village launched that service last year to help restaurateurs make some money during the COVID-19 crisis and restarted it this spring.
Officials insist the licenses aren't just a money grab by village hall. Outdoor dining and similar activities require village services such as garbage removal and miscellaneous maintenance, they noted.
Trustee Tim Wilson said officials want to be fair to restaurateurs.
"I don't want us jamming up the businesses," Wilson said Thursday. "That's certainly not the intent of the ordinance."
The Park Street Restaurant at 14 E. Park St. is among the eateries that's offered alfresco dining during the pandemic. Co-owner Nora Arroyo said she doesn't mind buying a license as long as the fee is "a low amount."
"This last summer it really saved us," Arroyo said of the outdoor service.
A preliminary draft of the licensing rules adopted this week proposed the following fees:
• Annual licenses for outdoor seating areas on applicable property could cost $25.
• Annual licenses for outdoor dining areas on applicable property could cost $250 plus 50 cents per square foot.
• Licenses for outdoor entertainment could cost $1,250 for up to 30 weeks of seasonal use or $75 per week.
• The seasonal license for a food truck hired by a local organization or business could cost $500 between April 15 and Nov. 15, or $100 per week.
• The license for an independent food truck or food cart could cost $750 annually or $100 per week, depending on how often it operates in town.
When fees eventually are submitted to the board for consideration, they'll likely be lower than those proposals, Guenther said Thursday.