Two years later: Newport ordinance allows restaurants, bars near residences to have outdoor dining

The Cincy Weekend Guide To: Newport
A Newport, Kentucky ordinance will now allow bars and restaurants in residential areas to have outdoor seating.(tcw-wxix)
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 6:32 PM EDT
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NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) - The City of Newport modified an ordinance that gives businesses in residential areas the option to have outdoor seating, a decision that took two years to make.

During the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the majority of businesses were closed down. As vaccinations rolled out and the number of people infected began to decline, some restaurants and bars slowly opened back up, especially those with outdoor patios and seating.

However, some Newport restaurants, specifically those in neighborhoods, did not have that luxury due to an old version of City Ordinance 72423, Section 1, which prevented these businesses from having outdoor seating. This created concern as they were placed at a “competitive disadvantage,” according to Newport City Manager Tom Fromme.

However, on Aug. 31, the Newport City Commission unanimously approved the revisions that were made to the ordinance that will give residential businesses the opportunity to have outdoor dining.

“By far the biggest advantage of this ordinance is to enable entrepreneurs in the service industry to craft an experience outside of busy commercial streets commonly found throughout our region, yet not disruptive to those living in adjacent properties via a curfew,” Newport City Commissioner Mike Radwanski said in a press release.

There are limitations when it comes to the new ordinance.

New businesses in residential zones must conduct a public opinion survey from property owners within a 75-foot radius, and all bars and restaurants applying for an outdoor dining permit will be subject to a review every year.

The revisions indicate that it will take 30 days to approve or deny an application for a permit.

In addition, a curfew will be implemented requiring outdoor dining to close at 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Hours of operation can be extended to midnight depending on public survey results.

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