Temporary expansion of outdoor seating for East Lansing restaurants


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) —Some East Lansing Restaurants can now apply to temporarily create or expand outdoor seating.

This option comes after the East Lansing City Council approved Policy Resolution 2020-10 to extend the expedited approval process and the temporary elimination of fees for the creation or expansion of outdoor seating for East Lansing restaurants. 

Restaurants eligible include: those adjoining any private plaza, parking lot, on-street parking spaces or other public sidewalk/right-of-way

Restaurants must apply to the program. Once approved, the temporary expansion of restaurant seating will be permitted through March 14, 2021.

In addition to previous temporary outdoor seating area expansion requirements, Policy Resolution 2020-10 includes snow removal requirements and compliance with the East Lansing Fire Code for outdoor heating elements. If alcohol is to be served in an outdoor seating area, the restaurant must also follow all Michigan Liquor Control Commission licensing and regulations.

Restaurant owners that have already applied to expand their outdoor seating do not need to re-apply, but they will need to submit an application that details their snow removal plan for the winter months if they plan to extend their outdoor dining season to March 14, 2021. Restaurants that are applying to expand their outdoor seating for the first time will need to fill out two separate applications.

For additional information and applications, visit https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/OutdoorSeating. Business owners with questions can contact Community & Economic Development Administrator Adam Cummins at acummin@cityofeastlansing.com or (517) 319-6930.

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