The city of Raleigh is considering a change to the way restaurants and bars are allowed to use public sidewalks.
The city government decided seven years ago to allow private businesses to put seating on public sidewalks. The intent, according to city staff, was to provide seating for diners.
However, a number of non-dining businesses – namely, places that only serve alcoholic beverages – have since obtained permits to place sidewalk seating, staff reported in the agenda for Tuesday’s Raleigh City Council meeting.
Staff are requesting that the council schedule a June 16 public hearing to consider changes to the rules, but it’s not clear yet what changes are proposed.
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The proposal will include “additional clarity, strengthening of enforcement and a means to resolve administration of the ordinance,” the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting states.
The assumption among some locals has been that the change would ban bars from seating patrons on sidewalks, unless they served food too.