City of Columbus Announces Temporary Outdoor Seating Pilot Program
In an effort to assist local restaurants during the Public
Health Emergency Order declared by Mayor Andrew J. Ginther in March, the City
of Columbus is implementing a pilot program that will allow restaurants to
expand outdoor seating in Columbus. Beginning today, the Temporary Outdoor
Seating Pilot Program will allow restaurants and bars to apply for expedited
City approval to use the right-of-way for temporary outdoor on-street dining
areas or expand seating into their parking lots.
“Now more than ever, it is important to find ways to support
our local restaurants,” said Mayor Ginther. “The Temporary Outdoor Seating
Pilot Program will allow for more patrons, while still maintaining the social
distance required to decrease the spread of COVID-19.”
All Temporary Outdoor Seating areas permitted must comply
with the requirements in this pilot and with state and local health
requirements intended to slow or prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Upon receipt of a completed application with a site plan
showing the proposed layout of the outdoor, dining area, the application will
be reviewed by the appropriate Departments and Division.
“The Columbus restaurant community is looking forward to
initiating on-street dining and expanded patios to safely attract customers and
keep restaurant workers employed. This gives restaurants a better chance to
survive the Coronavirus pandemic as they continue to work hard to serve the
Columbus community and add to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods, supporting
small businesses that thrive when the hospitality community succeeds.” said
John Barker, President & CEO, the Ohio Restaurant Association. “The ORA was
glad to partner with Mayor Ginther and City leadership to help get this pilot
program initiated and we look forward to helping restaurants navigate the
Conditions for the right of way and sidewalk program
- The pilot program is applicable to restaurants
on city streets with speeds 30 mph or less.
- All locations must be in an existing parking
lane and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- “Edge buffers,” or barriers, are required to
maintain a safe distance between vehicular traffic and patrons. Barriers
can be either concrete or water filled.
- Dining areas cannot block vehicle or pedestrian
traffic, or impede ADA access.
- All entities are required to return the public
property to its original condition upon conclusion of the Pilot or use.
Conditions for expansion on private property or into parking
- No more than 25% of required parking spaces may
- Accessible parking spaces are not to be
obstructed, or approved alternative spaces of the same dimensions must be
provided elsewhere on the parcel.
- Tents are allowed with 75% of tent sides
remaining open when in use.
- Temporary dining area does not increase the
current establishment maximum capacity.
All applications and/or questions for expansion into the
right of way or sidewalks can be submitted online at https://portal.columbus.gov/permits/.
All applications and/or questions to expand patios into
parking lots or on private property shall submit a summary email to DLDaniel@Columbus.gov for an initial
The expanded outdoor dining opportunity is available for
restaurants and bars. All federal, state and local laws must be adhered