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Washington Now Allows Sidewalk Cafes

Posted: Thursday, January 3rd, 2013 at 6:25 am
Author: KCII News - Ben Stanton

Downtown Washington restaurants now have a process to go through if they want to have outdoor seating.  The Washington City Council made final approval Wednesday of the Sidewalk Cafe Ordinance, which establishes a permitting process for restaurants that want to use the public space in front of their buildings for serving food and drinks.

Here are a few of the rules.  If a restaurant wants seating for more than four people, then they must have a durable fence that surrounds the designated area.  The outdoor seating is not allowed during the winter.  Smoking is prohibited within ten feet of a designated sidewalk cafe.  Sidewalks can only be used incidentally, and there must be a five-foot wide pathway for pedestrians.

In the application process, restaurants must offer a detailed drawing of the layout for the sidewalk cafe. They must also pay a 50 dollar fee initially and for each annual renewal of a permit.  The city council emphasized that each particular permit will be evaluated on its own merits.  The council passed the ordinance unanimously.