BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON SHARED SPACE PERMITS TO ALLOW FOR ADDITIONAL OUTDOOR DINING OPPORTUNITIES
PRESS RELEASE Monday, August 10, 2020
Contact: Kim Garner
On Tuesday the Birmingham City Council will be considering an item for Shared Space Permits to allow restaurants to temporarily expand onto the sidewalk and into parking spaces to enhance social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout the course of the public health crisis, the Birmingham City Council has been working towards solutions to mitigate the economic impact on businesses in the city. The permits would allow for restaurants to convert parking spaces and sidewalks into outdoor dining areas for customers.
The Council previously approved an “Eat in the Streets” pilot program that launched in Avondale and was very well received by businesses and patrons. The shared space program is a way to expand those outdoor dining opportunities for businesses that are not located within the boundaries of one of the city’s entertainment districts that allow for open alcohol containers to be transported and consumed outside of establishments.
Businesses will need to apply for permits through the City’s Department of Transportation. There will not be any disruption to city streets or traffic, according to the ordinance, which was approved by the Public Safety Committee last week.
“We want to remain competitive and make sure Birmingham’s amazing restaurant and bar scene has a chance to flourish and survive this public health crisis,” said Councilor Hunter Williams, who chairs the Public Safety Committee. “We use term shared space, but really these spaces belong to the taxpayers. I do think our restaurants and culinary scene has brought vibrancy back to downtown and we want to be sure people can safely enjoy a meal with their family and friends while supporting local businesses.”
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