WEST JEFFERSON — The West Jefferson Board of Aldermen held its monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 14 at West Jefferson Town Hall.
Most of the meeting was dedicated to requests from local restaurants wanting to expand their options for outdoor seating.
First was Black Jack’s owner Alin Retezatu and Burgers Y’all owner Tammy Rose, who were before the board to suggest permanently closing East First street, which runs between the two restaurants. Retezatu said they have spoken to other business owners, who are not opposed to the closing. However, aldermen John Reeves and Calvin Green both spoke of their hesitation to close a street permanently. Green added that the town is currently paying $30,000 to repave it, and it would be irresponsible to close down a street immediately after that.
Rose noted that restaurants bring valuable tourism to the town and county, which she said leads to people buying second homes and paying taxes in the county.
Retezatu and Rose both voiced support to the idea of small patios on either side of the street taking up the parking spots, enough space for outdoor seating while also allowing cars through. However, with no actual plan to present, the board opted to keep the street closed for the rest of 2020, requiring the restaurant owners to come back with an architect-approved plan.
The board also looked at a request from Home Slice, which wanted to expand the use of their parking spots for outdoor seating. Currently, the restaurant was allowed to use them as a dining space between Friday and Sunday, but wanted to expand that into a week long option. The board agreed, but Alderman Crystal Miller noted it could open the floodgates for other restaurants and businesses to do the same and lose many parking spots. The board approved the measure, noting they could repeal it at any time if it became a problem down the road.
The next meeting of the West Jefferson Board of Aldermen will be Monday, Oct. 5.