Outdoor Restaurant Seating License

Title 3, Chapter 1, Section 6: Outdoor Restaurant Seating License. These regulations apply to restaurants seeking to use the public right-of-way for outdoor seating. Three sections were recommended to be waived at this time:

  1. 3-l-6(B)(1): Easement Agreements shall be approved by a resolution of Council;
  2. 3-l-6(B)(6): Prior to City Council rendering a decision on an easement agreement, the City of Muscatine shall mail all property owners and first floor occupants located on the same block notice that an application for an easement agreement has been filed; and,
  3. 3-l-6(C)(l): Sidewalk or street cafes are only allowed in the area bounded by Pine Street, 6th Street, Mulberry Avenue, and Mississippi Drive. 

The Muscatine City Council approved (May 21, 2020) a temporary waiver of these issues to speed up the approval process by eliminating mailing, public notice, and limited approval dates. This also opens the opportunity for outdoor seating on public-right-of-way to restaurants outside of the downtown area.

Application details are listed in Section 6: Outdoor Restaurant Seating License.

To comply with applicable social distancing and prevention requirements of the Iowa Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control, the following modifications will also be implemented in the process of approving outdoor seating easement agreement applications this year.

  1. The site plan must show placement of tables that complies with public health requirements for maintaining social distancing through placement of no less than six foot (6’) between dining areas, areas of ingress/egress to the business, and allowing for passing of the general public. If the 6’ requirement is unable to be met the applicant must provide a solid, transparent separation of diners from such areas.
  2. A sidewalk or street café must be arranged in a manner that places the tables adjacent to the building, with a minimum 6’ distance between the entrance of the building and other outdoor seating. If it is not possible to provide a minimum 6’ distance between dining groups and/or the passing public a solid, transparent barrier must be installed.
  3. If the outdoor café is located on the public street a minimum six foot (6’) walkway shall be provided between the building and tables, if the first section of tables is not adjacent to the building to allow for a compliant walkway, and each outdoor seating table.

Site plans and supporting documentation should be emailed to Andrew Fangman, Assistant Community Development Director at afangman@muscatineiowa.gov or mailed to Andrew Fangman, Assistant Community Development Director, 215 Sycamore Street, Muscatine, Iowa, 52761.

The waiver expires on October 15, 2020, unless extended by City Council.