City Hall, NY – Today the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises and the Committee on Land Use voted to recommend the approval of a zoning proposal, which is a first step in creating a permanent outdoor dining program for New York City.  The zoning proposal will come before the full Council on February 24.  

The next step in creating a permanent outdoor program is the passage of legislation in the coming months, which will help to support an industry that has employed hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and has been a bright spot in a very challenging time for the City. 

Council Members Rafael Salamanca, Chair of the Committee on Land Use, Kevin Riley, Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, and Marjorie Velázquez, Chair of the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection, released the following statements. 

“The zoning that is in place today doesn’t allow sidewalk dining in vast stretches of our City,” said Council Member Kevin C. Riley, Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.  “Going forward, it is important that we create a program that accommodates the needs of all stakeholders. Together, the New York City Council will continue to support restaurant owners and employees who depend on these businesses to support their families while addressing key community concerns that maintain the quality of life and character of our community. I look forward to working with the Speaker, my colleagues, my community, and the Mayor’s team to get this program right.” 

“After almost two years of temporary rules to respond to the pandemic, now is the time to create a program that learns the lessons from the last two years and addresses the concerns that have been raised,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Chair of the Committee on Land Use. “I want to thank Speaker Adams for her leadership, and Chairs Riley and Velázquez for listening carefully to hours of testimony at our hearing. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the administration, community boards, restaurant owners and other stakeholders on the corresponding legislation that will enhance the outdoor dining program, while speaking to the feedback we received during our hearing.” 

“Over the course of an over eight-hour hearing, I heard loud and clear the many concerns about sanitation, noise pollution, pedestrian safety, designing, accessibility, and enforcement from people all over the City,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez, Chair of the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection. “I questioned the relevant City agencies so we could begin the work to find solutions to many of these issues. Restaurants are run by hard-working people and their success impacts not just their livelihoods but countless employees and other businesses, and they need our support. Along with my colleagues, I look forward to crafting a bill that includes a permanent solution and takes all stakeholders’ perspectives into account. I want to thank Speaker Adams, Chairs Salamanca and Riley for their partnership in this effort.”