North Royalton City Council passed legislation that will allow area eateries a temporary approval in order to provide additional outdoor patio dining. The legislation was proposed by Council President Paul Marnecheck and introduced by the entire City Council and Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz.
Although Governor Mike DeWine has loosened eatery restrictions, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, only limited seating is allowable. For that reason, the idea of adding outdoor seating to compensate for that situation had initiated the discussion that led to the legislation.
The legislation was modeled after North Olmsted’s recently introduced legislation. After going to a local establishment, Marnecheck saw a business that is trying to adhere to the Governor’s guidelines, while trying to keep up with the influx of potential patrons. “Why not try to do a little bit temporarily, because the businesses are losing revenues,” he said. Marnecheck saw the legislation that North Olmsted had drafted, then discussed the measure with Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz, the city’s Law and Building departments, and the Legislative Director, and then drafted the legislation fitting for North Royalton Businesses.
Once these requirements have been met, the operator will be issued a Temporary Zoning Approval for this outdoor patio dining area until December 31, 2020, or until state restrictions are lifted from the restaurant and bar for indoor seating, whichever comes first. Once the indoor eating restrictions are lifted, Marnecheck said that if the business would like to continue to operate a patio, then the usual process of obtaining a permit for a permanent patio would need to take place.
The following are the requirements the city has initiated:
“· The operator must provide a drawing, to scale, of the proposed areas and seating arrangements, to be used for the outdoor dining. The drawings shall also indicate any proposed temporary fences, occupant / pedestrian protection from vehicles or other temporary improvements.
· The operator must provide written approval from the property owner for the proposed temporary outdoor patio dining area.
· Temporary patios shall only be permitted to operate during normal business hours, however temporary patios adjacent to residential property are prohibited.
· The temporary improvements may not block any required means of egress, access to adjacent tenants or uses, accessible path for the site or building, fire lanes and pedestrian drop-off zones.
· Parking areas may be used but suitable barricades or protections shall be provided to protect pedestrians and diners.
· Alcohol may only be served in accordance with County Health Department and State of Ohio Liquor Control rules, restrictions and requirements. The operator is responsible to make themselves familiar with these and comply with applicable rules.
· Seating or other improvements may not be placed on any public sidewalk or right of way.
· New or additional lighting will require plan review and permits for installation.
· The operator shall ensure that the property is maintained free of trash and debris.
· The maintenance of any required social distancing or other operational requirements imposed by the State due to the COVID-19 epidemic is the responsibility of the operator.
· Temporary signage shall be in compliance with Chapter 1163. Fees for temporary signage related to this order shall be waived while it is in effect.
· Operation of the outdoor patio dining area must be maintained in accordance with the approval.
· The operator shall provide an occupancy count for the interior and exterior seating. The operator shall also indicate where parking for the occupancy requested shall be located.
· The operator shall clearly post the occupancy numbers permitted.
· All structures both temporary and permanent erected while this order is in effect shall be removed after the Temporary Zoning Approval expires unless previously approved by the Building Commissioner.
· Owners / operators shall comply with Ohio Building Code and Ohio Fire Code regulations for temporary structures. Temporary structures shall require a permit issued by the City of North Royalton Building Division. Fees for temporary structures (tents, shelters, etc.) shall be waived while this order is in effect.”

Contributing Writer