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Restaurants challenged for encroaching on Santa Lucia park space

Tension continues between private business and public space

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For years, the restaurant La Rocova has placed banquettes on public spaces in Santa Lucia Park. Photo: Facebook

Merida, Yucatan — As it was for businesses in the port of Progreso, it is necessary to remove private property from pubic spaces in the Centro, a business leader said.

In particular, restaurants’ tables and chairs are crowding Parque Santa Lucia, said Jorge Torre Loria, tourism advisor local chamber of commerce.

Canaco Servytur’s official complained that restaurants have been allowed to expand private dining into spaces that are meant for everybody.

The tables, including some banquettes built under circular canopes, block pedestrian flow and are bad for tourism, said Torre Loria.

{ Related: Restaurants worry about regulations at Santa Lucia Park (2018) }

He doesn’t mind the tables being there when the restaurants are in operation, but he objects to them being stored at Santa Lucia park all day and night.

Vendors at the beach were notified that their furniture cannot be stored on the malecon or the sand around the clock. That pleased some — the malecon looked like a cellar, said the Canaco leader — but frustrated business people who have to load and unload their property every day.

In the last eight or nine years, once sleepy Santa Lucia has became a tourism magnet. High-end restaurants have appeared in the park’s previously boarded-up L-shaped colonnade. Restaurants have insisted that it is impractical to cart their tables and chairs inside on a daily basis.

But it is a public park and you must protect the city’s image, said Torre Loria.

Torre Loria also urged the city to replace an increasing number of burned-out lights across the Centro. The facades of landmark buildings in the Centro Historico — including the Peninsular Athenaeum and the Municipal Palace — have gradually grown dim at night, he observed.

Source: La Jornada Maya

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