Outdoor Dining Council Hearing

Sign up today to virtually testify at City Council's Streets and Services committee on Tuesday, November 9th, at 9 AM, that you are in SUPPORT of bills #210776 and #210777.

Tell Council to put people before parking spaces.

City Council is considering a bill that would make permanent the current permitting process for outdoor dining on streets and sidewalks.

How to Register to Speak

Speakers interested in giving testimony on any of these legislative matters must call 215-686-3446, or send an e-mail to [email protected] by 3 p.m. the day before the hearing and submit the following information:

  • Full name
  • Callback telephone number where you can be reached
  • Identify the bill number or numbers that will be addressed (#210776 and #210777)

Tips for Council Testimony

  • Register to speak by following the above directions.
  • Callers generally receive 2 minutes to give testimony, about 300 words.
  • Pre-write an outline so that all your points will come across. Personal and neighborhood stories are a plus.
  • City Council uses Microsoft Teams as the meeting app; the host will unmute you when it is your turn to speak.
  • Speak slowly and clearly.

Outdoor Dining Talking Points

  • "I am testifying in support of Bills #210776 and #210777"
  • Facing the realities of our changing climate, our city needs to prioritize our limited outdoor space for people over cars. Our streets are far more valuable as genuine destinations rather than parking spots.

  • The lively and vibrant street space of Philadelphia is our competitive advantage over the suburbs and we need to make sure that people continue to have a reason to visit our shops and restaurants.

  • The old approval process was cumbersome and inequitable, with only the most well-resourced and politically-savvy businesses acquiring permits for outdoor seating.

  • The changes have also allowed struggling small businesses to survive through expanded seating capacity -- we should not be taking this away from them now.

  • With COVID-19 still among us, many diners and shoppers remain hesitant of visiting indoor spaces.

  • Our sidewalks and crosswalks must first and foremost provide a safe, accessible path of travel for all individuals, especially those in the disability community. I support the protections that this legislation provides to ensure that structures are up to code, are ADA accessible, and meet neighborhood approval. I also support efforts to ensure right-of-way compliance through increased code enforcement.

  • Outdoor dining also helps deter crime because it brings additional lighting and more eyes on the street.

  • I also urge Council to work on expanding loading zones to ensure pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle paths remain open.


Tanya Seaman

Will you come?