Changes to 2020 Sidewalk Café Regulations and Open Container Considerations

In response to restrictions placed on restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic and Governor Wolf’s updated outdoor dining recommendations for York County beginning June 5th, the City of York is announcing changes to sidewalk café regulations.

Beginning June 5th, Foodservice Establishments in The City of York May Operate Sidewalk Cafes if The Following Conditions Are Met:

  • Permission is obtained from the property owner to place the seating area at the establishment
  • Four (4) feet of level, navigable space (decorative brick liner is not considered to be navigable space) is kept from curb to seating area to allow pedestrian access
  • Tables have seating for no more than four (4) individuals
  • Tables are spaced ten (10) feet apart from table edge to table edge, allowing 6 foot spacing for individuals, per CDC guidelines
  • Tables, chairs, umbrellas, planters are allowed if they are of common design and size
  • If the above conditions are met and maintained, the facility may expand the seating area to adjacent properties if written permission is obtained from the adjacent property owners.

Though a permit or modifications to an existing permit are not required, the City of York Zoning Officer reserves the right to enforce modifications to any outdoor seating area if the above criteria are not met.

Additionally, the City of York is considering the expansion of outdoor eating areas and the creation of designated open container areas within the City of York.

Facilities with existing Pennsylvania Liquor Licenses should immediately contact Philip Given, Acting Director of Economic and Community Development, with any proposal relating to the expansion of seating areas or open container access.

Discussion and a vote on changes to open container areas will be held on Wednesday, June 3rd at the York City Council Meeting.

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