By Euro Weekly News Media • 10 February 2011 • 11:06
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IN light of the smoking ban Velez.Malaga Town Hall announced it is adopting a ‘flexible approach’ to dealing with requests for awnings and terraces. Since the smoking ban came into effect on January 2 there have been 180 applications for them from the town’s bar and catering establishments in a bid to prevent losing customers, according to Commerce Councillor Francisco Ruiz Diaz (PSOE).
“The process can often be slow due to the necessity of a visit by highway technicians and that the area can comply with municipal regulations.”
This flexibility could mean that some bars will even be able to use “roadside areas usually used for parking, provided the awnings are not anchored to the ground”.
This would provide shelter from the rain and cold for smokers.
However, “bars with music cannot have terraces, so several such bars have decided to make a trade-off, getting rid of music in favour of a covered smoking area,” explained Ruiz.
Some establishments were found to have “put up awnings and terraces – some occupying more than 80 square meters of public roads – without a license and without even having asked permission, so as not to loose customers,” he added.
For these cases, the Town Hall has initiated the necessary paperwork to see if they will be eligible for the license.
“Many businesses were already having a difficult time, which is why we are trying to meet all the requests, but always within the law,” said the Socialist councillor.
By Nicole Hallett
Picture Credit: tm-tm
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