NEW YORK — Sidewalk seats and curbside tables have appeared around the city during the pandemic.
They were a lifeline to businesses. Application fees and many rules for cafes were waived during the emergency declaration.
Officials are currently creating proposals for permanent location and design guidelines. Mayor Bill de Blasio and council have created a structure for permanent open street and open restaurant projects. Departments are drawing up regulations and they will be submitted to council.
The process includes public hearings and discussions about land use. That is expected to begin in June and it can last for months. Enforcement would also be consolidated to the NYC Department of Transportation.
NYC Department of City Planning along with the DOT and Office of Nightlife also held a zoom session. Business representatives asked questions after hearing about the process.
Most structures currently located on sidewalks and roadways probably will be able to remain in place through 2022. A new certification process would begin in 2023. As of now, plans would not include completely enclosed structures in the road. Protected areas for seating would be created without windows.