FRAMINGHAM — Outdoor dining is now a permanent fixture for establishments in Framingham.
The City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously, with one abstention, to add a new zoning ordinance to the city: Section II.G. 1 Restaurant Outdoor Dining Regulations.
District 6 City Councilor Philip Ottaviani abstained from the vote because he owns two buildings with restaurants, although one is currently vacant.
Expanding outdoor dining was part of the emergency measures adopted by Gov. Charlie Baker to help an industry hit hard by COVID-19. Outdoor activities are considered more safe by experts, with transmission conservatively estimated to be below 10%.
The City Council vote is good news for establishments that invested in outdoor dining arrangements during the pandemic — the temporary measure that expanded outdoor dining was due to expire on April 1.
“If this does not pass, there will be no outdoor seating after April 1,” said District 1 City Councilor Christine Long, who brought the matter before the panel.