Sidewalk Dining Ordinance Revisions Approved by Town Council
Just in time for summer, the Town has revised its Sidewalk Dining ordinance to make outdoor dining easier for restaurants.
What is sidewalk dining?
Sidewalk dining refers to when a restaurant places furnishings in the public right of away (sidewalk) immediately adjacent to their building for the purpose of actively serving patrons. Dining activities on private property are not governed by this part of the Town Code.
Why were changes made to the Town Code and permit application?
- Make permit application process easier
- Align the Town Code with new State guidelines that focus on safety versus aesthetics
- Promote sidewalk dining to foster the vibrancy of public spaces
What are the major changes?
All changes to the ordinance can be found at bit.ly/2v2S1Ik. Below is a summary of the major adjustments:
- Removing zoning restrictions - now any approved restaurant that abuts a public right of way (sidewalk) can apply for a sidewalk dining permit
- Reducing the minimum distance from intersections, curbs, and permanent objects of sidewalk dining furnishings to 5 feet - this increases the available space for sidewalk dining activities
- Removing restrictions around furnishing size and type - furnishings must now only meet Chapter 8 of the Building Code (the same as any other furnishings)
- Removing the requirement to bring in furnishings by midnight each night - furnishings may now be left out except during Town-declared special events or adverse weather
- The Town Manager has more authority to grant variances
- A penalty and appeals process is now outlined within the ordinance (Section 17-89)
Helpful reminders about sidewalk dining:
- Sidewalk dining furnishings must be kept a minimum of 6 feet from a vehicle travel lane and leave 5 feet clear sidewalk space for pedestrians.
- Sidewalk dining furnishings no longer have to be removed by midnight each evening.
- The Town will notify restaurants when furnishings must be removed due to special events, construction, or adverse weather.
What’s next for sidewalk dining?
The Town will be revising the Sidewalk Dining Permit Application slightly to match the new ordinance. The current application can be used until a new one is complete and can be found at bit.ly/2v2S1Ik.