Once upon a time, businesses had to slog through a lot of red tape to get permission for a sidewalk café. Then COVID-19 made outdoor dining – and shopping – a potential life-and-death matter, and the city loosened the rules last year, offering free permits. Sidewalk/curb-space business expansions have subsequently popped up all over. This week, a City Council committee will look at extending the free permits at least through May of next year, with a possible “pathway to permanence.” Right now the program is scheduled to end after October of this year. If the new proposal is approved, along with the extension through May 2022, it would direct SDOT to draft a proposal by December on how to make the program permanent (though not necessarily free). This is on the agenda for the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee‘s meeting at 9:30 am Wednesday (May 12th).
West Seattle, Washington