The bill, sponsored by Council Member Marjorie Velázquez with vocal support from Mayor Eric Adams, has gone through multiple revisions since it was first introduced in February of last year, as the Adams administration and Council members have spent more than a year in negotiations for a permanent setup.In the latest version, roadway cafes will be allowed from April until the end of November. Sidewalk seating will be authorized for restaurants year-round with the proper permitting, which covers a four-year period. Curb-based roadway seating will require a separate permit spanning the same length of time, with each permit costing $1,050, according to the bill text.
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, makes many of the plaintiffs' previous arguments about the open restaurant program taking away parking, causing noise and congestion, and allegedly inviting rats to move in (though this has been debunked).But central to the latest effort to undermine the restaurant industry is the claim that the city itself has deconstructed its own pandemic edicts and, as a result, should do the same with the restaurant program.
Business owners will have to send their petitions for outdoor dining to DOT, the Council, the borough president, and the local community board, the latter of which will have 40 days to give recommendations on whether to approve the applications.
If the business is in a historic district or adjacent to a landmark, it will also need to get approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
The Council can review petitions and hold a vote on whether to approve them.