Glidden proposes ordinance allowing sidewalk sales

City Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden (Ward 8) has proposed an ordinance allowing businesses to have sidewalk sales.

The Minneapolis Planning Commission is scheduled to review the proposal at its meeting today at 4:30 p.m. Pending approval from the Planning Commission, it will be reviewed by the City Council.

Glidden said the goal is to create a more “fun and vibrant atmosphere” on the sidewalks that can help bolster neighborhood businesses and enliven street life.

In a letter she recently wrote to neighborhood and business leaders, she noted there’s “an uneven playing field” for businesses under the current ordinance, which only allows hardware stores to have sidewalk sales.  

The city’s pedestrian and disability advisory committees have also reviewed the proposal and suggested the ordinance require a 5-foot unobstructed walkway for pedestrians next to the sales areas.

Business licensing staff would be in charge of regulating the sidewalk sales to ensure the ordinance requirements are followed.

The proposed ordinance restricts businesses from selling liquor, tobacco, food or sexually oriented merchandise on sidewalks.