After a lengthy discussion on Monday night, the city council in Annapolis, Maryland, passed a resolution unanimously to extend outdoor dining for another six months while its impact is studied.
“Let’s get to work,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said after the resolution passed.
The resolution allows businesses to serve customers in outdoor dining through October as the city continues to study how it impacts parking and business to area shops and restaurants.
Outdoor dining was a special exception permitted by the city to help businesses cope with the economic effects of COVID-19 under its state of emergency. The emergency expired April 11.
It was then that the Annapolis City Council voted to extend the pilot program for 60 days.
Some council members were advocating for extending it for a year at that time while outdoor dining regulations were written.
Alderman Ross Arnett, who represents Ward 8, said that they agree six months of additional time is needed to see where people park when spots are occupied by outdoor dining — or if they choose to dine elsewhere if parking is less available.
“I want to know what to expect from that fallout,” Arnett said. “When we take away convenient parking … it won’t take long for those patrons to go someplace else.”
Ward 1 Alderwoman Elly Tierney said she was concerned about how extending the pilot program will affect those living in or around Annapolis.
“We’ve exhausted the residents’ patience,” Tierney said. “I sense the frustration of the residents. It is fatigue.”