Leesburg Council Looks to Make Outdoor Dining Permanent

The Leesburg Town Council has voted to codify the temporary outdoor dining rules put into place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an eye toward making outdoor dining spaces a permanent option for town restaurants.

Under the new ordinance, restaurants may apply for an annual temporary permit to keep offering outdoor dining. Some rules have been tweaked from pandemic rules—the six-foot separation between tables has been removed, and requirements have been added for a fence-like barrier around the outdoor dining area and that the dining area must be adjacent to the building.

Other regulations also remain, such as a cap on outdoor seating at 50% of the building’s certificate of occupancy, and that it cannot cover up more than half of the parking.

Those rules are meant to bridge the gap until the town wraps up a comprehensive revision of its zoning ordinance, said Department of Planning and Zoning Director James David. However, restaurants could still face some uncertainty—because of the temporary nature of the permits, the rules could be changed in the future.

The Town Council voted 6-0 to approve the new permits on July 26.

“Truly, I think this was one of the things that we did that saved many of our downtown businesses,” said Mayor Kelly Burk.

2 thoughts on “Leesburg Council Looks to Make Outdoor Dining Permanent

  • 2022-08-02 at 10:40 pm

    I’m with Mayor Burk & the Leesburg Town Council. Outdoor dining is delightful. But please make sure there’s a sufficient barrier between diners & nearby vehicular traffic. There’s nothing worse than exhaust fumes ruining a delicious dinner. Happy Watermelon Day Loudoun!

  • 2022-08-03 at 10:50 am

    I truly enjoy the outdoor seating when the weather allows but keep in mind the winter months when they are just road blocks. I support keeping them but don’t be blind to all of the issues.

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