Outdoor Dining Permitted at Restaurants

As of May 6, 2020

City Commissioners adopt a temporary policy allowing restaurants to create or expand their seating outdoors

To help local eateries take advantage of guidelines for restaurant openings in Governor Ron DeSantis’ Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan to Reopen Florida, the city adopted a temporary policy at its May 5, 2020, City Commission meeting allowing restaurants the flexibility to create or expand their seating outdoors for on-site food consumption.

This policy allows the ability to place outdoor seating within parking or landscaped areas and within the city’s right-of-way, subject to city approval.

To expedite the process, there is no formal application or approval necessary for restaurants wanting to expand their seating configurations to private property as long as appropriate social distancing guidelines and ADA requirements are followed.

Restaurants wanting to place seating within the city’s right-of-way, are asked to contact the city’s Planning Department at (386) 671-8120.

Other guidelines for outdoor operations:

  • The maximum size of any party shall be limited to 10 persons per table.
  • Tables shall be at least 6 feet apart from other tables (measured from all edges of the table)
  • Building permits are required for tents larger than 100 square feet.
  • Entertainment or amplified sound equipment is prohibited from the outdoor seating area.
  • Points on ingress and egress shall not be blocked for any reason and all ADA requirements must be maintained.
  • If the restaurant is not the property owner, then the establishment must obtain written permission from the owner prior to operation of the outdoor seating area.
  • The establishment must provide sufficient parking spaces to meet minimum LDC requirements based on all available seating, including with respect to the outdoor seating area.
  • If the outdoor seating area is located wholly or partially within a parking area, a temporary physical barrier must be placed separating the outdoor seating area and pedestrian access thereto, from the remaining parking.
  • Depending if the outdoor seating is on public or private property, the expiration for this temporary policy varies. If the seating is on a public sidewalk, the city’s policy is in effect until the expiration of the local state of emergency or the establishments’ Business Tax Receipt, whichever is later. When the expansion occurs on private property, the special provision expires with the termination or expiration of the local state of emergency. When that occurs and the restaurant can reach full capacity, the outdoor area must be returned to the previous conditions.
  • The outdoor seating area must not occupy or impact neighboring properties, or required landscape buffers or designated open space on the establishment’s property.
  • Restaurants are encouraged to use disposable menus or clean menus after each use.
  • All indoor restrooms shall be cleaned and sanitized on a more frequent schedule
  • Additional guidance from the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants (DBPR) may be found here, www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/