The City of Asheville is working making updates to its outdoor dining program. Goals of the program updates include:
Extending key elements of the temporary “AVL Shares Space” initiatives into long-term programs (i.e. parklets)
Improving the application, review and enforcement process – which will benefit staff, applicants and the public
Supporting the success and resiliency of Asheville’s local economy with consideration of public health guidance for potential future pandemic(s).
Prioritizing mobility and accessibility for those with physical disabilities through updated policies, standards and management practices
Supporting economic development in commercial districts, including the success of local and BIPOC-owned businesses
Adjusting fees to 1) more appropriately account for the value of commercializing public space and 2) generate revenue that supports operational management of the program as well as organizational capacity to achieve City priorities and goals
Promoting pedestrian activation that contributes to a welcoming and safe environment by supporting public realm activity within commercial areas
The City has an interdepartmental team working on updates to the City’s Outdoor Dining Program (on public streets and sidewalks) based on lessons learned during the temporary AVL Shares Space initiatives launched during COVID-19 as well as established and emerging best practices.
Public engagement to get feedback on the proposed policy, standards and fee changes will take place between March 2023 and June 2023.
3/29/23 at 4 p.m. – Downtown Public Space Management Task Force – in Person – 6th Floor Training Room of City Hall (more info)
TBD – Asheville Independent Restaurant Association stakeholder group
5/12/23 at 8:30 a.m. – Downtown Commission – in Person – 1st Floor Conference Room of City Hall (more info)
June/TBD – City Council Planning & Economic Development Committee
July/TBD – City Council Consideration
The COVID-19 pandemic made the City and Community think differently about how public spaces – like streets, sidewalks and parking spaces – can be utilized to support the health, safety and welfare of the public in addition to fostering economic activity.
Through collaboration, communication and flexibility across sectors of government, business and community, the temporary AVL Shares Space initiatives launched in the spring and summer of 2020 enabled the testing of ideas.
Public feedback on the temporary programs indicated support for continuing many aspects longer term. One of those components is enabling outdoor dining to take place in public on-street parking spaces. Staff is moving forward on the development of a long-term “Streetery” program to accommodate this use.
Spring 2020: Temporary AVL Shares Space initiatives launched
December 2021: Most temporary initiatives transition to existing long-term programs
January 2022: Outdoor dining permits required for sidewalks through pre-existing process; temporary parklets may remain but no new applications accepted
October 2022: Team launches long-term program development process
February 2023 – April 2023: public engagement and stakeholder feedback on proposed updates to policies, standards and fees
July 2023: City Council consideration/adoption
July 2023 – December 2023: Information sessions, guidance on compliance, etc.
January 2024: New policies, standards and fees apply to calendar year 2024 permit period
Outdoor Dining Long-Term Program
AVL Shares Space temporary initiatives
- June 13, 2022: Presentation and Report to City Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee
- November 9, 2021: Presentation on AVL Shares Space to City Council
- September 2021: public survey results
- September 3, 2021: Share your Feedback on ‘AVL Shares Space’ outdoor expansion initiatives – Press Release
- June 22, 2021: AVL Shares Space outdoor expansion to continue through 2021 – Press Release
- December 16, 2020: AVL Shares Space outdoor expansion to continue in 2021
- December 3, 2020: Reminders for safety requirements to operate outdoors – Press Release
- September 28, 2020: AVL Shares Space extended to January 3 with winter guidelines – Press Release
- June 23, 2020: City of Asheville launches shares streets and parklet programs – Press Release
- June 5, 2020: City of Asheville expands flexibility for business use of sidewalks in addition to private lots – Press Release
- May 22, 2020: City of Asheville launches curbside pick-up program and expands flexibility for business use of private lots – Press Release
Downtown Planning Manager