The City of Clayton is a restaurant destination for residents, employees and visitors throughout the region. The City is currently home to approximately 60 restaurants with outdoor dining. The outdoor dining experience in Clayton allows diners to enjoy the City while adding activity and vibrancy to the City’s streets. Restaurants benefit from the expanded square footage and visibility, as does the City from increased tax dollars generated from the additional restaurant business.
Since the adoption of the Outdoor Dining Standards in 1992, staff has continually evaluated the standards in an effort to ensure safe, accessible and attractive streetscapes. Subsequent revisions to the standards were made in response to feedback from restaurant owners, diners, citizens, and City staff.
In 2015, the Board of Aldermen approved an amendment to the City’s Zoning Regulations to codify by ordinance the majority of the Outdoor Dining Standards. The purpose of the regulations is to permit outdoor dining on public and private property that is compatible with other uses of the sidewalk. The regulations simplify and consolidate requirements, allow more administrative flexibility, and protect and maintain accessible sidewalks. The regulations apply to all restaurants with outdoor dining on public or private property, and they closely mirror the Outdoor Dining Standards, with the following changes:
- Outdoor dining is permitted year-long (previously allowed between March 1 and December 21, or on days in the off season that are 50 degrees or above).
- The required Pedestrian Access Route (PAR) is based on federal accessibility standards once they are approved. In the meantime, the minimum PAR remains 3 feet.
- Outdoor dining may be placed adjacent to the curb as long as it meets the setback requirements from right-of-way fixtures.
- Outdoor dining is reviewed and approved administratively by staff rather than the Architectural Review Board.