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City of York announces changes to sidewalk cafe regulations, open container considerations in response to state's COVID-19 guidance

Starting June 5, food service establishments in York may operate sidewalk cafes if they adhere to conditions set by the CDC and the state
City of York Seal

YORK, Pa. — The City of York on Friday announced changes to sidewalk cafe regulations and open container considerations in response to Governor Tom Wolf's updated outdoor dining recommendations for counties in the "Yellow" phase of COVID-19 mitigation, which go into effect on June 5.

According to the press release issued by the City of York, starting Friday, June 5, food service establishments in the city 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 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 individuals
  • Tables are spaced ten feet apart from table edge to table edge, allowing six-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, the city said.

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, the city said.

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

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, the city said.