The West End Terraces Law Passed – Finally
After several months of discussion and consultation, the West End Terraces law has finally been passed by San Antonio Council and will come into effect in mid July.
The new law will prohibit terraces (outside seating) on the public highway from being used after Midnight for establishments playing music.
However, those establishments which do not play music will be allowed to keep their terraces open until 2am.
However, this is a far cry from the current law which requires the terraces to be closed at 4am, so those of you who are used to sitting out in the West End after midnight will notice a huge change.
The idea is to reduce the noise levels in the area from people sitting outside enjoying life which the council says causes undue nuisance and disturbance to the local residents.
What is not clear, however, is whether the tables and chairs can be stacked outside the premises when not in use or whether they will have to be removed from the street completely.
If it is the latter we know that some of the smaller bars which have limited storage will either be forced to close early or to give up their terraces completely.
For those who wish to try the patience of the council, the fines will range from €200 up to €3,000 and for those who are deemed to be in serious breach of the law, it could result in the suspension of their license for a period of time.
However, if it works this will be a huge change for the West End and only time will see how it affects visitors and business alike as well as the dynamics of the area.
On a final note, we have heard from several islanders that the West End terraces were originally put in place to actually reduce the noise levels in the town and to help prevent people wandering around late at night.
Time will tell if it will help reduce the noise or just spread the noise across a wider area as people wander aimlessly looking for somewhere to hang out in the wee small hours.