Kansas City makes outdoor dining options permanent for some bars, restaurants

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Outdoor dining will be a permanent option for some Kansas City restaurants.

City council members voted to amend the city’s zoning code Thursday allowing some bars and restaurants to use parking lots and other outdoor space as seating.

It comes after the city allowed businesses to apply for permits to expand outdoor seating to parking spaces during the pandemic. The outdoor option would have ended April 19 if the council hadn’t passed the new ordinance.

Establishments must follow the following approved conditions to take advantage of the change:

  • Limit seating to parking spaces. Seating in drive aisles is not allowed.
  • Keep driveways and entrances open
  • Make sure seating does not obstruct ADA-compliant parking spaces, and outdoor seating is ADA accessible
  • Sidewalks, crosswalks and other walkways are not blocked by outdoor seating
  • Other space on the property can be used for seating, as long as it isn’t landscaped or designated for storm water management

Restaurants will be allowed to serve alcohol as long as they are licensed. The ordinance also requires staff to supervise and maintain the outdoor seating area. Restaurants are not allowed to leave tables and chairs outside when the business isn’t open or the seating area isn’t used.

The ordinance doesn’t change any indoor dining options.

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