Sidewalk Dining Improvements

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Downtown Sidewalk Dining Application Link

Sidewalk Dining Application

The Downtown Sidewalk Dining application for Downtown restaurants is above and an example site plan as required in the application is here. This is a temporary application while the Town reconsiders its sidewalk dining ordinance (Chapel Hill Town Ordinance Chapter 17.86, 87 and 88). Only restaurants that want to use the public right of way (ie Downtown sidewalks) are required to comply with the included requirements and application.

Process Improvements

Sidewalk dining is a vital part of Downtown vibrancy, variety and economic development. As part of the Public Realm initiative of the Downtown 2020 Work Plan, the Town is examining the current sidewalk dining permit process for improvements. Specific steps in this evaluation include:

  1. Revising the Sidewalk Dining Application and process
  2. Revising the Town's sidewalk dining ordinance to increase flexibility and promote safe sidewalk dining  

Input Opportunities

A meeting of Downtown restaurants was held on February 5, 2018 at LaUNCh and the notes from that meeting are here. The Town will host at least one additional meeting where restaurants can provide input on proposed Town ordinance language. 

In addition, the community is invited to send their input about sidewalk dining for consideration in the revised ordinance to Sarah Poulton at or 919-969-5009.

Sidewalk Dining Regulations

All restaurants must comply with North Carolina statute GS 136-27.4. This statute was approved by the General Assembly in 2013 and will be part of the next revision of the North Carolina State Building Code.

From PhotoShelter

Questions or comments about sidewalk dining? Call or email Sarah Poulton at 919-969-5009 or


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