Common Council will be holding a special meeting on Monday, June 29 at 7:30PM to approve 11 measures for expanded outdoor dining to assist Summit businesses in reopening. Among the resolutions are measures to expand sidewalk cafes with liquor licenses, create outdoor dining in parklets, and expand liquor licenses into a portion of Maple Street that will be closed. All measures that grant liquor license expansion must, by law, include an annual license agreement with a license fee. Once approved, traffic barriers need to be installed before restaurants can open outdoor dining areas.
In support of Summit restaurants, on June 23 council approved a waiver for outdoor dining fees for those restaurants who do not have a liquor license. However, pursuant to city ordinance, restaurants with a liquor license must enter into a license agreement to use city property for outdoor dining and must pay a license fee that is usually based upon the assessed value of the square footage of outdoor space. To assist businesses with liquor licenses, council has proposed an alternative method of calculating this license fee based on the number of available seats. This new, lower license fee will be included as part of each resolution that council considers for each application for sidewalk cafes and parklets, and outdoor street dining for restaurants with a liquor license. A general resolution to apply this same alternative fee structure to all outdoor cafes with liquor licenses will be considered on the July 8 council agenda and will apply retroactively to all restaurants that have received a outdoor dining permit with a liquor license expansion.
First, council will consider two annual license agreements for sidewalk café expansions for Fiorino Ristorante and The Office Tavern Grill.
Next, council will consider three applications for the use of Maple Street by Fiorino Ristorante, Summit House Restaurant and Bar Bacoa, and Roots Steakhouse. These applications include lease agreements for the expansion of liquor licenses. A fourth restaurant, Fin Raw Bar and Kitchen, does not have a liquor license so they do not need council approval to operate outdoor dining on Maple Street. At the June 23 meeting, council approved the partial closure of Maple Street from Springfield Avenue north to the alleyway and from Springfield Avenue south to the alleyway for the use of these four restaurants. The closures will be in effect until August 30. During the Maple Street closures, restaurants using Maple Street for dining will not set up a sidewalk cafe on Maple Street.
Finally, council will consider six parklet applications. A parklet is a dining area created from one or more parking spaces for seasonal use by a restaurant. A restaurant must receive a permit, and the city must place traffic barriers on the parklet perimeter before tables can be placed in the area. Applications being considered by council on June 29 are: The Office Tavern Grill at 61 Union Place, Piattino on Union Place, Pizza Vita at 7 Union Place, Serra Restaurant at 10-12 Bank Street, Ani Ramen, 427 Springfield Avenue, and Summit Greek Grill on Bank Street.
Details and locations for all these outdoor dining locations are included in the June 29 special meeting agenda packet. These are unprecedented times and approval of outdoor dining locations require careful weighing by council of competing interests of restaurants, other businesses, and members of the public. The approval process for the parklet program includes an opportunity for public comment to allow council to fully consider applications before voting.
I hope to see you as we all begin enjoying Summit safely in the coming days and weeks.
To view the complete Common Council special meeting agenda, go to https://www.cityofsummit.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/475?fileID=23910
For this and all future electronic meetings, members of the public will be able to comment by video or audio conference. The access codes and instructions for public comment on the Zoom platform will be posted on the city website prior to the meeting. Every Common Council meeting is broadcast live on HTTV Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channel 36 and 34. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City of Summit YouTube Channel.
Next Common Council Meeting: Wednesday, July 8, 2020.