City council begins process to amend outdoor dining
The Fairfield City Council approved the first of three readings Monday night to amend the Outdoor Dining Area Ordinance that was originally passed in June.
In an interview today, councilor Michael Halley said the council discovered that the language in the original ordinance was too restrictive after businesses began submitting permit applications.
“We discussed making it more user-friendly,” Halley said, adding that the original ordinance required all businesses to have fences for outdoor and sidewalk dining.
The revised ordinance only requires fencing for establishements that serve alcohol.
“The ordinance as it states now requires a fence for every sidewalk area dining [establishment],” he said. “There are some that don’t serve alcohol and probably never intend to — we don’t want to require a fence for them.”
Other changes to the ordinance included the addition of benches as a seating option and that fence openings would be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Previously, it just said chairs. We went on to include benches,” Halley said. “The third thing is that the opening to the fence would be the standard 36 inches that complies with the ADA.
“We’re holding off on the permits administratively until the amendment process is over,” Halley said. “Most likely, we will see outdoor dining coming in the spring.”