by Heidi L. Everett
On May 3, St. Joseph City Council approved a new permanent ordinance for outdoor dining and sidewalk cafes designed to streamline the approval process while maintaining standards of the City’s character and expectations.
“The permanent ordinance creates more flexibility than what the current ordinance offers, streamlines the approval process and adds minimal aesthetic requirements,” said Nate Keller, community development director. “It better defines what constitutes an outdoor patio versus sidewalk cafe and what requirements they should follow.”
This reporter incorrectly stated April 30 that the ordinance was passed at the April 19 City Council meeting; however, the ordinance was tabled and ordinance language revised.
The current ordinance requires Planning Commission and City Council approval for proposed outdoor patios and sidewalk cafes. The new ordinance eliminates those approval requirements and allows for staff to approve administratively.
Keller noted the ordinance may be amended in June regarding patio-size limitations.