A proposal to limit how far in advance chairs may be set out as placeholders for the annual CarmelFest July 4 parade didn’t receive support at a Nov. 13 Carmel City Council committee meeting.
All three members of the Land Use and Special Studies committee voted to send the ordinance to the city council with an unfavorable recommendation. The proposal prohibits chairs from being set out before 6 a.m. the day before the parade and bans all other placeholders, such as stakes and tarps, more than two hours before it begins.
Committee chair Tony Green said he did not support the ordinance because he doesn’t see a need for it. He said he has not heard from any Carmel residents or business owners requesting the changes.
“Is this government overreach? Do we really need this, or are there other remedies on the book for the city to take action?” Green said Nov. 14, adding that he expects a discussion about other possible solutions at the Nov. 18 city council meeting.
City council President Jeff Worrell, who has volunteered with CarmelFest for more than 25 years, said he was surprised by the committee’s vote. He said he’s received a great deal of feedback since suggesting the changes in July, with most of it in support of the limitations.
“I thought this was a fairly good compromise to not kill the quaint tradition but to set some parameters and some limits, because it just keeps getting earlier and earlier every year,” Worrell said.
This year, chairs marking CarmelFest parade route spots were seen as early as June 22, nearly two weeks before the parade. Worrell previously said having spots marked for so long has caused problems for local business owners trying to maintain the staked-out areas.
The ordinance is set to go before the seven-member Carmel City Council for a vote Nov. 18. Worrell said he may ask the council to table the ordinance so he can continue to study the issue and refine the proposal.
“If I have more work to do, I’m willing to do it,” he said.
The Nov. 18 city council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Carmel City Hall.