York City to allow sidewalk cafes, consider open container changes

Businesses in York City may operate sidewalk cafes under limited conditions beginning June 5, officials announced Friday.

Additionally, city officials are considering expanding outdoor eating areas and creating designated open container areas, according to a news release.

Facilities with state liquor licenses are asked to contact Philip Given, the city's acting director of economic and community development, with proposals.

Discussion and a vote on proposed changes to open container areas is expected on Wednesday at the York City Council meeting.

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Beginning June 5, restaurants and other food service establishments in the city will be permitted to offer outdoor seating, the news release states, provided the following conditions are met:

  • permission from the property owner
  • 4 feet of "level, navigable space" is kept from curb to seating area for pedestrian access
  • tables seat no more than four
  • tables are placed 10 feet apart from table edge to table edge
  • tables, chairs, umbrellas and planters must be of common design and size

If these conditions are maintained, facilities may also expand seating to adjacent properties with written permission from those property owners, the release states.

Formal modifications to permits are not required, though the city's zoning officer can enforce changes to an establishment's outdoor seating area if the above criteria are not met, officials said.

These new regulations are in line with changes to the governor's outdoor dining recommendations for the county, which also are effective June 5.