Board looking to repeal ordinance

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NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses is moving towards repealing an ordinance that prohibits alcohol from being served outdoors on sidewalks or public right of ways.

“This is really a blue law that dates back to a lot of other provisions about the sale and consumption of alcohol and other activities,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said.

Mezzo said the Zoning Commission has been discussing the possibility of allowing restaurants to have outdoor seating for a number of years. However, the current ordinance stands in the way.

Until the board repeals the law, Mezzo said, the commission can’t take up the issue.

“The Zoning Commission’s hands are tied right now because the law of the Board of Mayor and Burgesses says you can’t do it. If that’s removed the Zoning Commission can devise reasonable regulations,” Mezzo said.

Mezzo said the board is expected to hold a public hearing on repealing the ordinance within the next month. If the ordinance is repealed, the board would defer to the Zoning Commission to craft and implement any new regulations.

“We think it makes sense,” said Mezzo about repealing the ordinance. “You can go to nice communities in West Hartford and Fairfield County and there’s sidewalk dining in a variety of locations. I think we should afford that opportunity to our restaurant owners and bar owners.”