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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

P&Z: Outdoor Dining Made Easier

The Westport Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Department said today it is preparing to issue outdoor dining permits pursuant to new rules adopted by the P&Z Commission for the outdoor dining season that begins May 1.

In a series of zoning amendments over the past year, the P&Z Commission greatly expanded the opportunities for outside dining by increasing the types of businesses that qualify for creating outdoor dining, said P&Z Director Laurence Bradley.

The revised rules also increased the space that food establishments can dedicate to outdoor dining and simplified the rules for approvals, Bradley said.

The commission eliminated the need for a public hearing in almost all cases and allows some relief from setbacks and parking requirements, the P&Z official said.

“The changes we have made will hopefully promote and encourage more outdoor dining in Westport and represent the fulfillment of some the goals expressed in the 2007 Town Plan of Conservation and Development,” said Ron Corwin, chairman of the commission.

“We hope more restaurants and retail food establishments will take advantage of this opportunity.”

“The new regulations will create many more opportunities for outdoor dining options by allowing restaurants and now retail food establishments to have outdoor dining,” said Bradley.

“All previously approved locations will get a reminder letter from the P&Z Office by April 8 with instructions on how to renew their permits,” he said. 

“Existing restaurants will see no change in the procedures or requirements from prior years provided that the layout and configuration of their outdoor dining have not changed.”

Restaurants and retail food establishments that want to introduce outdoor dining as part of their business model should contact the P&Z Office to obtain a copy of the new guidelines and procedures, Bradley said.


Posted 03/29/11 at 06:09 PM  Permalink


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