Move follows expedited approval permit process for sidewalk cafes, private sites
DEARBORN – More opportunities are available to Dearborn restaurants and businesses to expand their service areas, now that the city has added public property, streets and alleys to the list of sites potentially accommodating customers outside.
The city already had made it easier for businesses to apply to add outdoor seating by using sidewalks and private property.
Indoor capacity restrictions caused by COVID-19 safety concerns mean that restaurants have limited seating, and businesses must decrease the number of customers who can come inside.
In response, the city, under the direction of Mayor Jack O’Reilly, and with support from the City Council, streamlined the application process and waived permitting fees for restaurants and businesses to use outdoor spaces to accommodate more customers. Zoning requirements also have been relaxed to allow for this enhancement.
The city’s goal is to approve permit applications in about 24 hours after receipt of all required information. Applications can be found at http://cityofdearborn.org/services/permits/apply-for-permits.
Although fees are waived, businesses and restaurants must get a permit to proceed on private or public property. Other provisions apply.
Restaurants will be able to serve food outdoors, and can provide alcohol outdoors once permission is obtained from the state and proof is provided to the city.
“By including public property, the city is taking yet another step to clear the way for restaurants and businesses to welcome and serve as many customers as they can,” O’Reilly said. “These outdoor expansions can help ensure they are doing so safely and within the required health guidelines.”
The initiative is being spearheaded by the Economic and Community Development Department and the Property Maintenance and Development Services Department, and is endorsed by the Downtown Development Authorities, the Corridor Authorities, the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, the American Arab Chamber of Commerce, and Wayne County.
With outdoor seating, businesses are responsible for creating enough space for social distancing, and for providing regular sanitation. Approval can be revoked for noncompliance of any of the permit provisions. Complete rules and details are found on the permit applications.
The relaxation on permit requirements is set to end on Nov. 1, but may be revisited in the future based on its success.