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Butte restaurant owner objects to 'outrageous' outdoor seating permit fee

Posted at 12:42 PM, May 26, 2023

BUTTE — With the nice weather on its way in Butte, some people may be asking, "Where’s all the outdoor seating?" Well, one local business owner said the permit to just put a table and chair out on the sidewalk is too high and she wants to see it changed.

“I understand a small permit fee of $25, you know, but this is outrageous and it needs to be looked at, it needs to be addressed,” said Butte business owner Carrie Fisher.

Fisher, who owns Taco del Sol and the Pita Pit on Park Street objects to the $700 permit fee businesses must pay if they put tables and chairs on the sidewalk outside their businesses. It’s a payment for the use of a right-of-way that the county has had for years but is starting to assess fines if people don’t have a permit.

Fisher said businesses are already responsible for maintaining their sidewalks.

“If a business doesn’t shovel their sidewalks, the business is cited, if there’s a crack in the sidewalk, the business pays for those cracks to be repaired, so I don’t understand why we’d be changed yet again such a high fee,” said Fisher.

Fisher has been collecting signatures for a petition to get Butte’s County Commissioners to amend the ordinance to lower the permit cost to be more comparable to other cities where it’s between $20 to $50.

“Every business owner in Butte is struggling in some level, post COVID, during COVID, we’re all still reeling from it and so we need the help,” she said.