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Outdoor dining permits on King Street could be extended after unusual circumstances in timelines

(Updated 1/31) The City of Alexandria is looking to extend the duration of King Street Outdoor Dining (KSOD) permits after an unusual circumstance in scheduling meant the permits issued by the city would only be valid for a couple of months.

After the Covid emergency status expired in September 2022, the City of Alexandria began issuing permits for businesses along King Street to operate in the sidewalks. The program is a continuation of a more flexible approach to outdoor dining brought on by the pandemic.

The problem is: the city’s annual sidewalk permits were effective from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. The permits Alexandria was issuing last year were based on that system, meaning permits granted after the change in September would only be valid until the end of March — just five months after they were issued.

As the city gets its ducks in a row to streamline the whole process, city staff have suggested that the city push the expiration of those permits back to next fall.

According to a staff report:

In the meantime, the KSOD permits granted after October 1, 2022 will expire on March 31, 2023… Staff proposes a text amendment to Section 6-804(F) to allow time for the development of a new one-application process, which aligns with the existing annual September 30 deadline of the parklet program, and also eliminates the need for restaurant operators to reapply for a new sidewalk dining permit before the existing March 31 deadline, less than six months after their most recent approvals.

The permit extension (item 2) is heading to the Planning Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 7.

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