Lower outdoor dining fees are on the menu in Port Phillip, including a “revitalisation rate” for areas including the Fitzroy Street precinct.

Mayor Dick Gross said the updated footpath trading fee policy, to apply from 1 July 2019, is aimed at boosting the vibrancy and atmosphere which al fresco dining brings to Port Phillip’s street-life.

“We believe the new tailored rates, which reflect the latest retail values of each area, are fairer and more transparent for traders, with the majority paying less under the revamp,” Cr Gross said.

“This is all about making it easier for traders to participate in the City’s lively outdoor dining scene, whether they have existing permits or are thinking of offering outdoor dining.”
The new provisions include:

– A ‘revitalisation rate’ for any area experiencing a reduction in their average retail rent (informed by valuation data commissioned annually by Council) and a 20 per cent or more vacancy rate of ground floor commercial tenancies. The Fitzroy Street precinct meets this criteria for 2019/20.
– A ‘revitalisation rated’ area attracting 100 per cent off outdoor dining fees for the first year for any business which hasn’t offered outdoor dining, or for an existing business which hasn’t provided outdoor dining for two years.
– In all other locations, half price fees for the first year for any business which hasn’t offered outdoor dining or for an existing business which hasn’t provided outdoor dining for two years
– Dropping the annual administrative renewal fee for all footpath trading permits from $120 to $70 for the 2019/20 final year to encourage traders to renew their permits
– The removal of the $113.55 planter box fee to encourage traders’ greening efforts
– Discounting outdoor dining fees to traders impacted by major building works, including streetscape upgrades, on a case-by-case basis.
– Introducing fees incrementally over two years if they increase by 20 per cent or more (fees are expected to fall for about 82 per cent of existing permit holders)
– Continuing to explore further reductions and discounts which may encourage outdoor dining in targeted areas.

There are currently 420 outdoor dining permit holders across Port Phillip.

The new 22-tier policy replaces a less flexible four-tier system introduced in 2003.

To view the new policy, go to http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/footpath-trading-fees.htm