Cleveland, OH

Cleveland gives leeway on outdoor dining for restaurants

James Stephens
Megan (Markham) Bucknall/Unsplash

To better serve restaurants and patrons during the Covid-19 pandemic, the City of Cleveland has established regulations and guidelines for authorized businesses to use streets, private parking lots, on-street parking areas as outdoor restaurant spaces. This legislation gives restaurants with additional dining space that offers them more room to maneuver to operate safely.

Businesses will need to get permits for outdoor dining. The city may cancel permits issued for a Temporary Expansion Area (TEA) at any time if a violation of this ordinance, the codified ordinances and applicable rules and regulations of the City of Cleveland or laws of the state of Ohio, as well as Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders, occurs.

Businesses will be required to comply with these regulations:

Permit Fee Duration: A TEA permit is valid until Nov. 1, 2021, except revoked or terminated earlier. Paying for a TEA permit application won't be necessary.

Patio Elements: Permittees must include detailed plans drawn to scale showing the number and location of patio elements, including umbrellas, standard tables, and chairs when applying for a Temporary Expansion Area permit. Additional features like generators, tents, and other formations may require additional approvals. All elements must remain within the accepted site plan area of operation.

Spacing Requirements: Permittees must assemble all patio furnishing for appropriate social distancing between tables, following ODH orders.

Protective Barrier Structure for Patio Area Expansion: All expanded patio enclosure areas must have suitable protection between the patio area and vehicular traffic. The ordinance requires permittees to install a much stronger barricade than a typical patio enclosure. The structure must be detachable at the end of business hours, if necessary, or after any certain period approved as part of the application.

Maintenance: Permittees shall maintain the TEA in compliance with all city, county, and state laws, regulations, and orders. The permittee shall be responsible for keeping TEAs safe and clean.

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