Outdoor Dining Options During COVID-19
The City of Reidsville is allowing existing restaurants to provide outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic if the eateries can follow the Governor’s Order for capacity and social distancing.
Reidsville City Council held a special meeting this morning unanimously approving this change to the City’s Zoning Ordinance since a temporary zoning permit is required. This comes on the heels of a similar temporary change to the City’s Code of Ordinances that was approved by Council at its June 9th meeting.
In making the presentation, Community Development Manager Donna Setliff explained that existing restaurants in General Business, Neighborhood Business and Highway Business zoning districts, along with coffee shops in General Business, Highway Business and Light Industrial, would fall under this temporary change. When issued, the zoning permit will expire 30 days after Governor Roy Cooper ends restaurant capacity restrictions.
This change means off-street parking can be reduced by 50% to accommodate outdoor dining, but the normal flow of traffic can’t be disturbed, and handicapped parking spaces must remain available. If the restaurant or coffee shop is located in a multi-business property, the operator must have a letter from the property owner granting permission to use the parking area for outdoor dining. The zoning compliance permit fee will be waived for this temporary permit.
The temporary ordinance takes effect immediately, but restaurants must secure the necessary permit before providing outdoor dining.
The amendment to the City’s Code of Ordinances approved by Council earlier this month allows restaurants and coffee shops in the downtown Municipal Service District (MSD) temporarily to have an outdoor dining area for food and drinks on sidewalks once the zoning amendment was put in place. Again, the eateries must meet the Governor’s Order for capacity and social distancing.
Restaurants in the MSD must maintain a three-foot travel way for pedestrians if they are utilizing the City sidewalks. If their outdoor dining extends to the sidewalk in front of an adjacent business, the property owner of that business must provide a letter granting permission. The outdoor dining area must be clearly defined. Both the property owner and business owner must sign a Hold Harmless statement with the restaurant operator also providing proof of insurance. The City must be named an “Additional Named Insurance” as recommended by the NC League of Municipalities.
Restaurant operators with questions can call the City’s Community Development Department at 336-349-1065 between 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays.