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Active Streets for Businesses program approved by committee

At today’s meeting of the Public Works Committee (Wednesday, June 3) the committee unanimously recommended approval of Common Council file #200198 – a substitute resolution relating to the creation of an Active Streets for Businesses program. The file was sponsored by Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

The Active Streets for Businesses program would provide expanded outdoor seating options at restaurants and bars in Milwaukee by allowing for suspension of certain code and permit requirements to allow restaurants to apply for expedited City approval to use the public right-of-way (streets and sidewalks). At this time there will be no application fee. All outdoor dining areas would need to comply with state and local health requirements intended to slow or prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The pilot program would be instituted at select locations across the city in coordination with community partners and local businesses.

Alderwoman Dimitrijevic, who testified in support of the program at today’s meeting, sees this as a win-win for the City and local businesses. “We have heard from many local bars and restaurants wanting to reopen and do so as safely as possible, and that inspired me to act on this issue and build off of the success of the Active Streets program,” said the Alderwoman. “I want to thank my colleagues on the committee for their support. Having more outdoor opportunities will be safer for patrons this summer and help re-stimulate the economy. Creating these public gathering spaces also serves as another way for a neighborhood to come together and reduce our reliance on cars and parking to create a healthier city.”

Applications for the Active Streets for Businesses program will be able to be submitted online. Further application instructions will be provided at a later date.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Hold a valid certificate of occupancy and food dealer license for restaurant operations adjacent to the area proposed for outdoor dining
  • Complete the City’s online application
  • Attach a site plan to the application with the proposed layout of the outdoor street dining area
  • Obtain required City or State liquor license approvals (if serving alcohol in the outdoor street dining area)

Please email pisupv@milwaukee.gov with your questions.
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The Active Streets for Businesses presentation can be viewed here. Applicants will be responsible for obtaining and installing required traffic barriers as well as implementing their site plan. The City reserves sole discretion on application approval. The resolution will be before the full Common Council at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 16.



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