New York City is one step closer to making outdoor dining permanent. The City Council on Thursday passed a zoning amendment that will remove geographic restrictions on where sidewalk cafés can be set up in New York City.
While sidewalk cafes are just one aspect of the kind of outdoor dining that has flourished in the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers, advocates and at least one city agency’s Twitter account said that the passage of the zoning text amendment on Thursday marks an important step on the way to keeping the Open Restaurants program for good. “By approving the Open Restaurants text amendment, it removes those geographic restrictions, allowing sidewalk cafes to be located in many more neighborhoods, particularly outside of Manhattan, where they had been restricted,” Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, told City & State. Rigie added that the amendment only takes effect upon the enactment of legislation and rules that create a new permanent Open Restaurants program.
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