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City issues guidance, outdoor seating regulations for eateries

By Staff | May 1, 2020

Today, the city of Sanibel issued a “Guidance & Temporary Outdoor Seating Regulations for Restaurants and Food Establishments.” Effective May 4, these will remain in effect unless modified or terminated by written notice.

– Restaurants and food establishments licensed under Chapters 500 or 509, Florida Statutes, may allow on-premises consumption of food and beverage, so long as they adopt appropriate social distancing measures and limit their indoor occupancy to no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy.

– Outdoor seating is permissible with appropriate social distancing. Appropriate social distancing requires maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between parties, only seating parties of 10 or fewer people and keeping bar counters closed to seating.

In addition, the city is temporarily permitting restaurants and food establishments to utilize up to 1,800 square feet for outdoor dining, with proper social distancing, with certain criteria. The criteria are:

– All temporary, additional outdoor dining must meet the following criteria:

– Must comply with provisions of Executive Order 20-112.

– Must comply with applicable Sanibel Fire Department and Florida Health Department requirements.

– Must not negatively impact ingress/egress to the building or property.

– If additional outdoor dining space is located within a parking area, a temporary physical barrier must be placed separating the dining from the remaining parking.

– Additional outdoor dining space cannot occupy or impact undeveloped space, required vegetative buffers or designated open space on a property.

– All temporary outdoor dining areas must be maintained clean of litter.

– If a restaurant is not the property owner, then it must obtain written permission from the landlord prior to installation.

– The city may revoke a restaurant’s temporary outdoor dining for failure to comply with Sanibel Code or the above listed criteria.

The city is committed to working with Sanibel businesses as Florida begins to open.

For questions regarding social distancing, code compliance or the above policy, contact Community Services Director Keith Williams at keith.williams@mysanibel.com or 239-472-6397 ext. 502.

For addition information, visit the city’s Website at www.mysanibel.com.