City Council extends outdoor dining until next year, aims to make permanent

Good news is in store for restaurant owners -outdoor dining was set to expire on Oct. 31 but was just extended through September of next year, with plans to make it permanent

News 12 Staff

Oct 15, 2020, 10:15 PM

Updated 1,322 days ago

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Good news is in store for restaurant owners -outdoor dining was set to expire on Oct. 31 but was just extended through September of next year, with plans to make it permanent.
The City Council is also working to set up a permanent program that legalizes propane tank usage, which was previously not permitted by the FDNY.
Right now, only piped natural gas heaters are allowed. On Wednesday, the city released guidelines on which types of heaters can be used.
Electric radiant heaters will be allowed on the sidewalk and roadway. Natural gas radiant heaters will be allowed only on the sidewalk.
The same goes for portable heaters fueled by propane, which will be regulated by the fire department. However, if a restaurant has private outdoor space it can utilize any of those options.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson says outdoor dining has enlivened the street--becoming a bright spot during a dark time in the city.
"I'm proud of this council for passing the bill to create outdoor dining. Now it is time to make it permanent. We must also allow them to use propane heaters to allow for business during colder weather,” said Johnson.
He also says this is a work in progress, so they’ll come back to the drawing board when it’s time to permanently extend the program to see what’s working and what’s not, to help fine-tune the experience for both business owners and nearby residents.


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