City of Norwalk, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 5-24-2005]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
OUTDOOR DINING
Any outdoor cafe, sidewalk cafe, eating area or any food service accessory to a restaurant.
A. 
Outdoor dining may be allowed only in specified zones of designated property for outdoor dining adopted by the Zoning Commission.
B. 
Permit and license agreement.
(1) 
Outdoor dining proposed to be located entirely on private property is required to obtain a permit from the Director of Zoning or his/her designee pursuant to the Norwalk Zoning Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 118, Zoning.
(2) 
Outdoor dining proposed to be located on a public sidewalk or land must meet the following requirements:
(a) 
A permit from the Zoning Department pursuant to the Norwalk Zoning Regulations;
(b) 
A license agreement by and between the City of Norwalk and the applicant for utilization of City-owned property.
(3) 
The application for a license agreement and required zoning permit shall be coordinated by the Director of Zoning or his/her designee.
An application for a permit and license agreement to use public land for outdoor dining shall be filed with the Director of Zoning or his/her designee who shall determine whether the application complies with the following criteria:
A. 
Outdoor dining may be located on public sidewalks in front of, adjacent to or abutting the indoor restaurant which operates the outdoor dining. Outdoor dining shall extend no further than the actual street frontage of the operating restaurant.
[Amended 3-24-2009]
B. 
Outdoor dining operation shall provide not less than five contiguous feet of sidewalk clear of obstructions to allow unimpeded pedestrian traffic. At street corner intersections there shall be a minimum of eight feet of unobstructed sidewalk. Obstructions shall include, but not be limited to, light poles, traffic signal poles, fire hydrants, utility structures and street signs. Further, the location of outdoor dining cannot obstruct the clear sight distance for vehicles or access or crossings for the disabled.
C. 
Outdoor dining operation shall meet all Building Code requirements and Zoning Code Regulations.
A. 
Outdoor dining on public land shall have an approved enclosure. All planters, railings and fences associated with outdoor dining must be approved by the Director of Public Works. Railings, fences or other enclosures shall not be more than 42 inches in height and must be anchored in a manner to prevent movement. Railings and fences must be removed from the sidewalk and stored indoors when outdoor dining is not in seasonal operation unless the Director approves otherwise. No modifications shall be made to City property without approval of the Director of Public Works.
B. 
Furnishings for outdoor dining shall consist solely of moveable tables, chairs and decorative accessories. Furnishings must be kept in a state of good repair and in a clean and safe condition at all times.
C. 
Awnings shall be adequately secured and retractable. Umbrellas over tables must be adequately weighted.
D. 
Tables, chairs, and all other furnishings or accessories may be left in place overnight during seasonal operation but shall be removed from the sidewalk and stored indoors whenever outdoor dining is not in seasonal operation. It shall be the responsibility of the licensee to secure furnishings and accessories that are left in place overnight.
E. 
Outdoor heaters, busing stations, trash receptacles, food preparation stations, and music shall not be permitted in the outdoor dining facility.
F. 
Outdoor dining shall be at the same elevation as the public sidewalk and any exceptions must be approved by the Director of Public Works. Paint, carpeting, artificial turf, platforms or other surfaces of any kind shall not be permitted at any time in the outdoor dining facility.
G. 
No sign shall be allowed at any outdoor dining facility except for the name of the establishment on an awning or umbrella fringe. One menu board sign may be displayed within the area of the outdoor dining, mounted on an easel or other easily removable fixture. The sign shall not exceed six square feet.
A. 
Anyone wishing to operate outdoor dining on public property must execute a license agreement by and between the applicant and the City of Norwalk.
B. 
The Director of Zoning or his/her designee will coordinate a license agreement application with Public Works Department, Health Department, Police Department, Redevelopment Agency, Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement Department. In addition to meeting the requirements of this article, the applicant shall be responsible for providing additional information requested by any City Department for its review.
C. 
Any requirements of other agencies which regulate restaurants or the public right-of-way must be adhered to, and the City of Norwalk shall incorporate any such requirements into the license agreement and shall not recommend a license agreement if the applicant has not received approvals for the operation from other agencies having any jurisdiction on its operation.
D. 
Any license agreement shall not in any way excuse an applicant from complying with any applicable requirement imposed by the Liquor Control Act of the State of Connecticut. Consumption of alcohol on such property is permitted only in accordance with any liquor permit, provided that such public consumption shall not violate any other state statute, state regulation or municipal ordinance.
E. 
The outdoor dining licensee must provide liability insurance in an amount determined by the Director of Finance, and must name the City as an additional issued in that policy.
F. 
All permit and license agreement fees shall be nonrefundable. The permit fee shall be $100 and the license agreement fee for the leasing of City property shall be $2 per square foot of leased space.
G. 
Outdoor dining license agreements shall be issued for an annual operation period from April 1 to November 1. Thereafter, the Director of Zoning or his/her designee may approve a renewal application and license agreement on an annual seasonal basis, provides a request is made for the renewal and after an inspection of the premises has been completed.
H. 
A performance bond shall be required as a condition of issuance of a license agreement in the amount of the license agreement fee.
I. 
The City may deny a license agreement or a renewal license agreement to operate outdoor dining if the proposed licensee has a history of violations of any of the requirements governing outdoor dining, fails to correct any violations when duly noticed, violates the terms of the license agreement or has any tax delinquencies.
J. 
A license agreement shall not be executed until all approvals are received.
K. 
Any violations of the requirements governing outdoor dining, the terms of the license agreement or failure to correct any violations when duly noticed by the City shall be deemed separate offenses and subject to a fine of $99.
A. 
Outdoor dining may operate during regular business hours of the restaurant operating the outdoor dining but no later than 11:00 p.m. The license agreement shall be for all annual seasonal outdoor dining from April 1 through November 1.
B. 
The licensee of outdoor dining is responsible for keeping the premises clean at all times, including the public sidewalk and other furnishings of the outdoor dining. At no time should trash or debris of any kind be blown, swept or otherwise deposited into the street. The presetting of tables with utensils, glasses, napkins, condiments and the like is prohibited.
C. 
The City reserves the right and power to temporarily order the discontinuation of the operation of public outdoor dining at any time because of anticipated or actual problems or conflicts in the use of the sidewalk area. These situations include, but are not limited to festivals, parades, marches, road races, repairs to the street or sidewalk, or any other emergencies occurring in the area. To the extent possible, the licensee shall be given prior written notice of the time period during which the operation of outdoor dining will not be permitted by the City, but failure to give notice shall not affect the right and power of the City to prohibit outdoor dining operation at any particular time.
D. 
The City reserves the right and power to terminate the license agreement for any reason, including, but not limited to, a violation of any provision of this article and/or the terms of the license agreement.
E. 
Any aggrieved person may file an appeal to the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk.