The Birmingham City Council Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved a shared space agreement that would extend areas outside restaurants so establishments could cater to more outdoor dining patrons.
Kelvin Datcher, director of intergovernmental affairs for Mayor Randall Woodfin, said the ordinance is needed to increase revenue for restaurants crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The city’s been very aggressive in identifying strategies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19,” Datcher told the committee, adding that 41st Street in Avondale was closed to accommodate restaurants on the block.
Under the shared space agreement and accompanying ordinance that passed the committee Tuesday in a voice vote, any restaurant or retail establishment would be able to use the sidewalk and possibly a parking space in front of their location, said Julie Bernard, an attorney for the city.
“It would allow them to expand their area where they can serve so they can have more seating because they’re limited at this point,” she said.
The ordinance, if approved by the full council, would be in effect until Sept. 30, when the city would reevaluate whether to extend it.