Photo: Todd Freimuth
Outdoor Cafes on private property . The rules help define what an outdoor cafe is and allow those that use their own property to stay open all year. Old rules said the cafe could only open three seasons, and most closed during the winter.
According to the new the definition an outdoor café is an area that contains portable seating and tables, intended solely for the consumption of food and beverages that are also included in the standard menu of the restaurant, outside the exterior walls of a restaurant. The new rules also allow establishments to have televisions and radios playing outdoors as well.
The use of outdoor TVs and Radios was an issue for the Arlington Planning Commission. That body asked the county board in April to require a “use permit” for outdoor electronics in order to keep down noise at restaurants near neighborhoods. A use permit would require each restaurant to come before the county board and ask to install a TV. County staff said current noise ordinances could handle that issue.
County staff plans to look at the noise ordinance and at outdoor cafes that use the public right-of-way later this year.