Outdoor seating is considered an accessory use within the Business, Mixed Use and Limited Industrial zoning districts. This means businesses serving food and beverage, such as restaurants, coffee shops and on-sale establishments, may provide outdoor seating for their patrons. Establishments wishing use a public sidewalk for outdoor seating may do so by permit. Outdoor seating areas must be contiguous to the establishment. Only properly licensed establishments may serve alcohol in outdoor seating areas.
Outdoor seating areas must meet specific requirements as described by City Code. The general intent of those requirements is to provide a clearly defined outdoor seating area that maintains clear, unobstructed sidewalk areas for pedestrian traffic. Here are few of those requirements.
- Defined Areas: All outdoor seating areas must be separated from the public or pedestrian areas by fencing or other acceptable means approved by the City. On public sidewalks, partitions must be movable and may not be affixed to the sidewalk.
- Location: Outdoor seating areas may only be located adjacent to the establishment, and must be against the building. Businesses in multi-tenant buildings may only use the area based on their store frontage.
- Pedestrian Access: In sidewalks areas, a minimum of five (5) feet of pedestrian space must be maintained between the outdoor seating area and curb line. On private property, outdoor seating may not obstruct sidewalks or occupy parking spaces.
- Site Furnishings: Furniture must be weather resistant and in good condition, and must remain within the defined outdoor seating area. Site furnishings include, but are not limited to the following: tables, chairs and umbrellas. Total occupancy shall be limited to the approved plan.
- Cleanliness: Outdoor seating areas must be kept clean at all times; trash and recycling receptacles must be emptied nightly.
- Hours of Operation: On public sidewalks, outdoor seating areas may be used until 10:00 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and until 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Outdoor seating areas on private property may follow business hours.
Whether on private property or public sidewalk, outdoor seating areas are subject to review by the City. Approval of outdoor seating areas on private property follows the standard Site Plan approval process. Outdoor seating areas proposed for public sidewalks must be permitted.
- A completed Private Outdoor Seating Applicationg Application or Sidewalk Outdoor Seating Application.
- A completed Site Plan Zoning and Land Use Application for private outdoor seating areas.
- Signed Use Agreement permit for sidewalk outdoor seating areas.
- Application and escrow fees, if required.
- Site sketch plan and renderings to show outdoor seating area.
- Certificate of Liability Insurance for sidewalk outdoor seating areas.
Applications for sidewalk outdoor seating areas must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to placement of any site furnishings. Applications for private seating areas follow the City’s standard zoning and land use review process.
Example Sketch Plans
Picture below is the site sketch plan and renderings:
Expiration and Renewal
Permits for sidewalk outdoor seating areas run May 1 through October 31. Annual renewal is required.