The following are generic guidelines for CCA’s consideration of outdoor seating proposed by food/liquor establishments in Canton.  Every circumstance is different.  Not every location in Canton is suitable for outdoor seating, nor does every establishment in Canton conduct business in a manner that suggests that outdoor seating will not be a problem.  The final decision on CCA support of proposed outdoor seating will be made by the CCA Board.

The CCA reserves the right to oppose the continuation of outdoor seating when it has been found to be detrimental to the neighborhood.  The CCA views the street-side sidewalks as city property for general public use.  Outdoor seating at any particular establishment is a privilege, not a right.  Outdoor seating should not come at the loss of peace and quiet of the neighbors, nor should it contribute to the risk to anyone’s safety and well-being. 

Outdoor seating is for the consumption of food, with or without the consumption of alcohol and tobacco products.  It is NOT for the consumption of alcohol without the consumption of food.  It is not designed to be an outdoor bar, and should accommodate seated patrons only.  Drinks should be moved in and out only by establishment employees. At no time should a patron be standing or walking and holding a drink. This is to maintain a clear division between patrons seated at outside tables consuming food and alcohol who are permitted to smoke, and those who go outside to smoke only, who are not permitted under the City’s smoking ban to carry drinks outside in that circumstance.  The foregoing provisions of this paragraph my be superseded by the provisions of a special event MOU, e.g. for St. Patrick’s Day, in the event of a conflict between the two.

It is the responsibility of the establishment to remind patrons, as needed, that Canton is a residential neighborhood of families and that proper behavior is required while outside.  By agreeing to these terms, the establishment agrees to be held accountable for the behavior of its patrons, both inside and outside the walls of the establishment.  Visibly intoxicated patrons should be seated inside, not outside.  The CCA will not try to specify all the behaviors that could be considered offensive, but a sensible standard might be that if you wouldn’t do it in front of your mother, it probably shouldn’t be done at outdoor seating.  The consumption of large amounts of alcohol does not excuse bad behavior. 

Establishments will be responsible for maintaining a clean and safe area.  Any trash generated by the use of the outdoor seating, whether it originates from the patron or the establishment shall be cleaned up by the establishment.  Trash from outdoor seating that lands anywhere outside the defined outdoor seating area is still the responsibility of the establishment, and must be removed promptly. 

Outdoor seating does not allow the sidewalk to be closed to non-patrons.  A minimum passageway of at least of 6 feet needs to be maintained either on the outside between the outdoor seating facilities and the adjacent curb or on the inside between the outdoor seating facilities and the adjacent building, both while the seating is being used, and when the seating in storage mode.

Four-top tables should be rectangular, not round.  Two-top tables can be of any shape.

Canton has 100% curb utilization.  Therefore, outdoor seating should not be a means of increasing the capacity of the establishment.  The capacity for a building, as determined by the fire department, should be no more than the total number of occupants and the total number of people in the outdoor seating.

Outdoor tables need to be positioned, while in use, as necessary to provide an unimpeded pedestrian walkway.  Thus, tables should not “float” out across the sidewalk, restricting the width available to passers-by, walking or using strollers or wheelchairs. 

Outdoor tables should be vacated by no later than 10:00 PM.  If patrons are still seated, they should be offered a seat inside, or asked to leave.

The restaurant must agree not to install outdoor speakers for communicating with or providing music for its outdoor customers.

Tables must be stored securely during the night and during daytime hours when not in use, and must not block any more of the sidewalk when stored than when they are in use. Out of season, the tables and chairs must not be stored on the public sidewalk.