LAST week the city of Palma proposed new and drastic measures against terrace seating in the city, removing up to 40 percent of Santa Catalina’s terraces.
This week, restaurant owners and neighbours have rallied together, urging the city to rethink their plans and the effects they will have on fabric of the city, especially Santa Catalina.
The proposal saw a ban on terraces in areas less than 3.5 metres, ensuring at least 2.5 metres is left for pedestrians. The change would be an extra half a metre more than the current regulations. The main pedestrian street in Santa Catalina, Calle Fabrica, would see the terraces reduced by over one metre, some restaurants almost two.
The restaurant association is highly critical of the original proposal, that was not presented with an economic impact study. The association has calculated dozens of jobs would be lost in Calle Fabrica alone, each restaurant on Calle Fabrica having to let go of two or three employees.
“It’s thanks to the terraces that we have this business,” California-style Mexican restaurant El Agua Nauta owner Pitxi told the Olive Press.
“It’s a small minority in the neighbourhood that want this change, everybody else is here for the vibrant life that has come with the restaurants.” Pitxi continued.
Palma Mayor Antoni Noguera has agreed to postpone discussions until next week, while asking the association of restaurateurs to, “be calm, responsible and think with good consensus,” to come to a compromise with the city.
The mayor has also already acknowledged the concerns of local businesses, agreeing to lighten the harshness of the proposal. He has discussed not to bring the terrace curfew an hour earlier in the winter time, and is promising leniency in neighbourhoods that thrive off their large terraces, such as Santa Catalina.
The Olive Press continues to support the locals and expats in Santa Catalina, campaigning to save the terraces and culture of the area.