Outdoor dining is now a permanent situation in the city after the committee on Consumer and Worker Protection passed a bill 7-1 on Thursday morning. The full council voted 34-11 to approve it.
Outdoor dining has been a controversial issue over the recent years. Critics complained about sanitation issues, noise, and fewer parking spaces. The committee understood their sentiments and employed one big change: dining sheds would have to be removed and replaced. Sidewalk seating would now be a staple for restaurants and cafes in other boroughs year-round.
For restaurants, this bill makes the process of getting these permits easier and ultimately cheaper.
It’s not perfect, however, as heaters and lights are required during the winter months to make the experience a little more bearable. It may be more inclusive and cost-effective for small businesses, but more guidelines need to be set in place.
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