Mayor Announces Enforcement Effort for Abandoned Open Restaurants Sheds Among Challenges to Open Restaurant Program

Multiple lawsuits have challenged both the temporary and proposed permanent open restaurant programs. On August 18, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced a new enforcement initiative with multiple city agencies to remove abandoned outdoor dining sheds. The City’s temporary open restaurants program allowed for restaurants to build outdoor shed structures on sidewalks and in roadways to allow for safer outdoor dining during the pandemic. However, some of these structures have been abandoned by restaurants that have <Read More>

City Council Approves Zoning Text Amendment for Permanent Open Restaurants Program

City Council still needs to pass legislation establishing the program. On February 24, 2022, the City Council voted to approve the zoning text amendment that will remove geographical restrictions where sidewalk cafes can operate across the city. This vote completes the first step in the creation of a permanent open restaurant program. 

City Council Holds First Hearing on Permanent Open Restaurants Plan

Many elected officials raised concerns about DOT’s ability to handle the scale and capacity of a citywide permanent open restaurants program. On February 8, 2022, the City Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises held a joint hearing with the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection on the proposed permanent open restaurant program. The proposed permanent open restaurant program will replace the temporary program and establish a new streamlined program for the creation, management and enforcement <Read More>

City Releases Permanent Open Restaurants Program Public Survey and Public Engagement Schedule

The public engagement process will continue into the new year. On November 18, 2021, the de Blasio administration announced the schedule for the Permanent Open Restaurant Program public engagement process. The proposed permanent open restaurant program will establish a new streamlined program for the creation, management and enforcement of sidewalk and roadway cafes operated by the Department of Transportation.

City Planning Commission Votes to Approve Permanent Open Restaurants Program Text Amendment

The zoning text amendment now moves on to City Council for approval. On November 15, 2021, the City Planning Commission voted to approve the Permanent Open Restaurants Program zoning text amendment in a special public hearing. The proposed Permanent Open Restaurants program will transfer the control of sidewalk cafes to the Department of Transportation from the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (formerly Consumer Affairs) and aims to create a more streamlined approval process for <Read More>