Businesses looking to put tables and chairs on the sidewalk outside their storefront have more hours available and regulations required to do so.
Kent City Council voted this week to approve a set of regulations that started as a trial program in 2003 to govern sidewalk seating for businesses.
The program requires businesses to ask for a permit with the Kent Community Development Department before putting tables and chairs on the sidewalk outside their business.
There are 13 different stipulations under the outdoor seating guidelines that businesses must adhere to. A copy of the guidelines is attached to this story.
Bridget Susel, acting director of the Kent Community Development Department, said they expanded the hours for outdoor seating to 11 p.m. or the specified closing time of the establishment. Previously, businesses could only place tables and chairs on the sidewalk up until 30 minutes after sunset.
"There is no alcohol involved in this," Susel said. “This is not for a license to occupy the right of way involving alcohol service at all.”
Only businesses listed within a specified area of downtown are allowe to put tables and chairs outside their storefront. A map identifying the designated area is attached to this article.
Council voted unanimously in committee to formally adopt the regulations Wednesday. The issue will come back to council for a final vote later this month.