Pau Gonzàlez Val, Eixample councilor, has taken a liking to bar terraces. It is not a question of leisure, but of the control that the premises comply with the rules. This week Enric Granados has frequented, one of the streets with the greatest presence of elements of restoration in public space in the district along with the Rambla de Catalunya, Parlament, Paseo de Sant Joan and Avenida Gaudí.

First he did it in the morning session, then at night, with one of the town hall professionals who check to see if someone cheats with the nightstands. On Wednesday, the councilor witnessed how a group of inspectors went to a place in the highest part of Enric Granados, touching the Diagonal, which had four tables on the street without a license for it.

A tenacious photographer

A truck from the consistory took tables and chairs: they are transferred to a warehouse and can be recovered during a period of 30 days once the cost of their removal is paid. The bar employees preferred not to make statements and the picaresque seemed settled. But Manu Mitru, the photographer for this newspaper who made the video of the withdrawal of the tables, He is an observant and tenacious man, and on Thursday he visited the area again to discover that just 24 hours later the establishment had placed another four tables in the forbidden space.

That, says the mayor, is one of the problems. That some defaulters do not hesitate to repeat despite the fact that the inspection was intensified in summer and despite the fines that are imposed: 750 euros in case of a minor penalty; 1,500 if it is serious, and 3,000 if it is very serious. So far in 2021, In the Eixample, 493 disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against terraces. Of that total, 372 are ongoing. 162 of the files were opened by terraces of Enric Granados, of which 77 are in progress. 28 terrace removal procedures are underway in the district, eight of them in Enric Granados. The terraces are only removed in cases in which there is no license or in which the infraction is very serious, that is, when the allowed modules are exceeded by more than 50% or if there are six more tables than those allowed.

Finally it’s Friday

In the Eixample there are 2,115 ordinary terrace licenses, which give permission to place 7,720 tables and 29,290 chairs. There are also 1,308 extraordinary licenses, granted in the context of the pandemic, which add another 3,410 tables and 13,514 chairs, which over time will be seen if they will be consolidated or disappear. In other words, in the district there are more than 11,000 tables and almost 43,000 chairs legally located on terraces. In Enric Granados there are 76 ordinary licenses that endorse 331 tables and 1,306 chairs, and 38 covid licenses to which 87 tables and 348 chairs correspond.

On Friday night, the street is packed. It is not something surprising, because the profusion of premises is so great that there is hardly any space truce. Gonzàlez sarcastically sums up the situation by recalling that phrase from when in the Iberian Peninsula everything was trees: “A squirrel could go around Enric Granados jumping from terrace to terrace of a bar & rdquor ;.

Gonzàlez accompanies an inspector, who prefers to reserve his name, on his route through Enric Granados. The man analyzes what each establishment has and what it can have. Take a photo, take note and deliver a copy of the minutes to the venue. Later, a technician will decide whether to act on it. In the first bar, which has a default in the past, everything is perfect. In the second, surprise. You have fewer tables than you could fit: He has not put those of the covid license. The third is closed. The room meets the number of tables and chairs, but it has a planter and it shouldn’t. If it is specified, it will be a minor penalty.

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11 illegal tables out of 12

The fifth bar brings them to you. He became known for having 12 tables when he can only legally place one. That table that is now there alone, next to others stacked. The inspector is interested in the latter: it makes no sense that they are there if they cannot be used. An employee of the bar argues that there is no space to store them inside and adds: “You see that we comply with the law with the sad table that you have left us & rdquor ;.

The inspector started his work at 8:00 p.m. Several of his colleagues are doing the same in other areas. At one o’clock they will return to the load, but to check the closing times.

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The terrace ordinance

Gonzàlez stresses that the government hopes that the modification of the terraces ordinance will be approved to reduce those of the “most saturated & rdquor; and judges “key & rdquor; let everyone play by the same rules. He is approaching the establishment of the upper part of Enric Granados who on Wednesday lost his tables without a license and who on Thursday replaced them without embarrassment. All is not lost: this Friday night they do not have the illegal terrace on.

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