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Era of deregulated sidewalk dining on King Street ending this fall

Alexandria’s expanded outdoor dining — a laissez-faire approach to sidewalk regulation brought about by Covid — is coming to an end in September.

The City announced this morning (Monday) that the Temporary COVID Business Relief Measures, which permitted the expanded outdoor dining operations along King Street, will expire on Friday, Sept. 30. Starting in October, restaurants will be required to go through a city program for permission to expand their restaurant to the city sidewalks.

Not long into the pandemic, the city approved a temporary relaxation of handful of ordinances to help make life a little easier for local businesses going through the worst throes of the pandemic’s economic impact.

“As a result, the City will resume its King Street Outdoor Dining (KSOD) program for outdoor dining on sidewalks for restaurant properties which abut King Street (from the Waterfront to the King Street Metro Station) and one block north and south of King Street,” the release said.

Businesses can check eligibility for the outdoor dining program and apply online.

“Businesses in other areas of the city may consult Planning & Zoning staff about pursuing an alternative approval path for outdoor dining opportunities on sidewalks,” the release said.

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