June 24 2020

Town Issues Guidelines for Outside Dining to Address Safety and Noise Concerns

By: Rich Hosford

The Board of Selectmen approved some additional guidelines on Monday night meant to keep diners enjoying an al fresco meal at one of Burlington’s restaurants safe and area residents not bothered. 


The provisions were presented by Economic Development Director Melisa Tintocalis and Building Inspector Andrew Ungerson. They said that because of social distancing regulations restaurants are spacing tables six feet apart outside. This has meant that, in order to have enough tables to serve customers, they have expanded into their parking lots. 


The new regulations state that all outdoor tables must be protected from active parts of parking lots or streets with barriers significant enough to deter vehicles. Ungerson said these could be cement barriers but did not necessarily have to be. He suggested restaurants with wood burning stoves, for example, could use big piles of wood. Restaurants could also use employee vehicles. Town Administrator Paul Sagarino said the town could potentially help some smaller businesses who might not be able to access or afford more traditional barriers obtain them. 


The other regulations include a provision that alcohol can only be served to people sitting at a table and any businesses serving alcohol must also serve food. Music and television noise must be kept to a minimum in businesses that are within 200 feet of a residential property. 


They also suggest that restaurants should have customers reserve tables in advance to prevent people gathering in groups while waiting to be seated. They also suggest restaurants should put a time limit, listed as 90 minutes, to increase turnover. 


You can find the full list of guidelines and requirements here


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