New York restaurants were allowed to put tables on the sidewalks again and make open areas
During the pandemic, New York City restaurants were allowed to set up tables on the sidewalks and build terraces. The townspeople and the institutions themselves liked it, but after the pandemic, the program was closed. And now the City Council has passed a bill that will return tables to sidewalks and terraces on a permanent basis. However, according to CNN, the new law will have some restrictions and certain requirements for obtaining an open area license.
The New York City Council on August 3 approved a bill that allows establishments to serve customers on street terraces and summer outdoor areas. Such a program was already in place during the pandemic, but it was a forced and temporary measure. Now the law allows restaurants to organize terraces on a permanent basis.
The city authorities implemented this program in 2020 to help the restaurant industry during the pandemic. Restaurants have been allowed to build pavilions for serving on the streets and set up tables on the sidewalk so that guests can enjoy their meals outdoors, as the city imposed capacity limits inside establishments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new bill, sidewalk service pavilions and awnings must be removed in the winter. Sidewalk service will be allowed throughout the year with a license.
Restaurants will also need a license to set up outdoor tables. Now they will have to pay a fee, which is calculated based on the location of the open area and the territory occupied.
The Department of Transportation will be responsible for overseeing the process and issuing licenses.
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The bill was supported by 34 members of the city council against 11. It was initiated by Marjorie Velazquez. The bill replaces a temporary 2020 program that allowed restaurants to use sidewalks or roads year-round.
“Outdoor service helped bolster New York City’s economy during COVID-19 lockdowns and was a creative solution to the post-pandemic economic crisis,” said Marjorie Velasquez. “I am proud to have supported our small businesses throughout this process and look forward to seeing them flourish.”
Mayor Eric Adams must sign the bill for it to take effect.
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