Downtown Raleigh's sidewalk seating rules get real
Posted September 8, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Effective Tuesday, bars and restaurants in downtown Raleigh must register with the city or face fines if they offer outdoor seating. An establishment's outdoor footprint is determined by its indoor seating size.
Businesses that don't have an application on file with the city by Tuesday have 10 days to submit one, or the city will remove any furniture from the sidewalk.
Fines also kick in Tuesday for businesses who allow patrons to congregate outside after the city's late-night curfew – midnight Sundays through Thursdays and 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
The limits on seating size and time are part of a three-month pilot program approved by city council after complaints from downtown residents about crowded sidewalks downtown and late-night noise. The ordinance went into effect Aug. 14, with establishments being warned about violations. That grace period ended Tuesday, and violators will face fines, according to Derrick Remer, Raleigh's manager of special events and emergency preparedness.