The New York City Council on Thursday voted to make outdoor dining permanent and year-round and lifted the ban on portable propane heaters. The legislation approved by the Council extends the city’s current Open Restaurants program, in which more than 10,500 restaurants have enrolled since June, until September 30, 2021, and requires it to be replaced with a permanent program. Under the program, restaurants will also be able to use portable propane heaters, which were previously banned.
Outdoor dining will be a permanent, year-round feature for New York City restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. The city’s popular “Open Restaurants” program, which launched in June and allows restaurants to set up outdoor seating on sidewalks, patios, and on some streets closed to cars on weekends, was set to expire on October 31. During his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show, de Blasio said the program will be “part of the life of the city for years to come.” The “Open Streets: Restaurants” program, which has closed roughly 87 streets to traffic for car-free dining on weekends, will also be made permanent, the mayor said.
Photo by 6sqft
Restaurants in New York City can charge diners a fee of up to 10 percent of the total bill for in-person dining under new legislation passed by the City Council on Wednesday. The “COVID-19 Recovery Charge” aims to offset losses businesses have suffered since the start of the health crisis in March. The surcharge will be permitted until 90 days after full indoor dining resumes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo this month said indoor dining can reopen on September 30 at 25 percent capacity.
The New York City Council on Thursday voted to extend the cap on commissions that restaurants are charged by third-party delivery services. The legislation, first enacted in May, restricts fees services like Grubhub and Uber Eats can charge to 20 percent per order during a state of emergency. The cap will now be in effect until restaurants are able to resume indoor dining at maximum occupancy and 90 days following. There is still no plan to bring back indoor dining, despite the city meeting the state’s coronavirus metrics.
Rendering: SHoP Architects
Three projects that include the construction of four towers and the creation of nearly 3,000 housing units in Two Bridges meet all zoning requirements and can move forward without City Council approval, an appeals court ruled Thursday. The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that had stopped the Manhattan megaproject from going ahead.
A New York City Council member will introduce a bill this week that would allow cultural institutions to set up events and exhibits outdoor, the New York Daily News first reported. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents parts of Queens and is chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, wants the city to give nonprofit groups space to perform on parking lots, streets, and parks. “The city of New York is the cultural capital of the world and right now it’s a city that’s a little sad,” Van Bramer told the Daily News. “The city of New York without music and dance and theater is just not the same New York.”
“Brooklyn Bridge Forest,” Pilot Projects Design Collective, Cities4Forests, Wildlife Conservation Society, Grimshaw and Silman, New York and Montreal
Two proposals have been chosen as the winners of a design contest launched earlier this year that sought ways to improve pedestrian space on the crowded Brooklyn Bridge. The Van Alen Institute and the New York City Council on Monday announced that “Brooklyn Bridge Forest,” a design that calls for lots of green space and an expanded wooden walkway, won the professional category. And “Do Look Down,” which would add a glass surface above the girders and make space for community events and vendors, took the top prize in the young adult category.
Photo of Rockaway Beach via Dan DeLuca on Flickr
The New York City Council on Saturday urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to open the city beaches this summer safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing swimming. Currently, swimming is not permitted, but local residents are allowed to walk or sit on the beach. A number of council members this weekend released 10-point beach reopening guidelines, which include limited capacity, social distancing markers, mask requirements, and increasing transit options to beach communities.
The New York City Council approved on Tuesday a bill requiring new buildings to be constructed with bird-friendly materials. Considered the most extensive policy of its kind in the country, the initiative mandates new glass buildings, as well as projects undergoing a major renovation, to be equipped with materials that are easier for birds to see. Each year, between roughly 90,000 and 230,000 birds die each year in New York City from colliding with glass buildings, according to the NYC Audubon. Learn more
Rendering courtesy of the Department of Design and Construction
The $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), designed to protect a section of Manhattan’s east side from flooding, was approved on Thursday in a full City Council vote. The vote is the final City Council approval of the project, which passed the city’s land use committee earlier this week and is the culmination of a long and at-times controversial process. As 6sqft previously reported, the project was born in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and was designed to flood-proof over two miles of Manhattan’s east side between East 25th Street and Montgomery Street and improve waterfront access to waterfront space. According to the city, the ESCR project would protect over 110,000 New Yorkers.