Sussex leaders are looking to make changes to the village’s outdoor dining rules in an effort to clear up rules for businesses.
The Village Board on Tuesday is expected to take changes to the outdoor dining ordinance and ease some of the restrictions put in place when outdoor dining first became popular in Sussex.
“What we do find is that (outdoor dining) is very commonplace these days and some of the things in the ordinance were not practical,” Village Administrator Jeremy Smith said. “There weren’t the problems at these businesses, so we decided to look at easing some of those restrictions to make it more palatable for businesses to do it and to make it more user friendly.”
Under the proposed new outdoor dining rules, restaurants wanting to have outdoor sections will continue to need permits in order to operate, but they will not be required to remove the tables and chairs at the end of the day.
They will be required to make sure those items are secured at the end of the day.
Under the old ordinance restaurants were required to allow a minimum of 4 feet of space for sidewalk pedestrian traffic to pass by. While they still must allow space for pedestrian traffic, the 4-foot requirement is removed in favor of allowing “adequate” room for pedestrians.
Under the current ordinance, all alcoholic beverages in the outdoor dining areas must be brought to those spots by an employee unless outdoor dining and seating area is sufficiently screened from the public view, and designed to require patrons to access the outdoor area through the establishment’s main building.
Under the proposed ordinance, the serving requirement can be waived if the designated area is deemed appropriate in scale and size to prevent access to alcoholic beverages by minors and the establishment requesting a waiver has no prior incidents or concerns from the public.
Smith said the changes to the ordinance were brought forward through a combination of village leaders and area businesses who want changes in the law due to the lack of problems being reported with outdoor dining.
Businesses in Sussex that have outdoor dining include Starbuck’s, Culvers, Pick ‘n Save, Su Casa and the former Seigo’s Steakhouse. Rumor’s Sports Bar & Grill will also have an outdoor dining area in the near future.