Local Politics

Durham council OKs using parking spots for outdoor dining; approves raises for themselves

Posted October 18, 2021 9:59 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2021 12:08 p.m. EDT

Outdoor seating at Dos Perros in downtown Durham near City Hall Plaza during the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

— The Durham City Council approved permanently allowing expanded outdoor dining during Monday night's meeting.

The expanded outdoor dining will be for city-owned, on-street parking spaces, but not for green spaces or parking decks, which have been used in some cases during the coronavirus pandemic.

In July 2020, restaurants were allowed to set up outdoor seating. Before Monday's vote, restaurants would have been required by the end of October to move back indoors.

Durham business owners and residents had expressed support for expanded outdoor dining. A survey of Durham residents and visitors, conducted by Downtown Durham Inc., showed more than 80% of respondents support using parking spaces for things other than parking.

The council also voted 6-1 in favor of raising members' salaries to bring them in line with the city's livable wage rate of $16.92 per hour. Starting in January, the annual salary of council members will increase from $25,378 to $35,200, while the mayor’s salary will increase from $29,875 to $41,536.

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