Falmouth Officials Discuss Outdoor Dining Possibilities

FALMOUTH – Falmouth officials recently addressed how restaurants within the town could open outdoor dining options amid the coronavirus pandemic.

State qualification issues, such as zoning permits or alcohol licenses, could impede efforts to expand outdoor seating capacity for many restaurants within the town.

“The exact shape and size of those permitting issues depends on the precise facts of each property,” Associate Town Counsel Irie Mullin said in a conference call.

“So, it’s not something that we can say is a ‘one size fits all.'”

Extending seating out to parking lots would also create an issue, as there needs to be a sufficient amount of parking spaces for customers.

Mullin said that occupancy levels will depend on information passed down by Governor Charlie Baker when restaurants are permitted to reopen.

The earliest that can occur is towards the beginning of next month, as restaurants are a part of phase two in the state’s reopening plan.

An amendment to alcohol licensing hurdles was proposed on Beacon Hill by State Representative Dylan Fernandes, according to Mullin.

Falmouth officials sent a letter to Baker asking for these outdoor dining restrictions to be eased as the summer season approaches.

“We’re really hoping for that relaxation of those regulatory requirements, so that there might be some flexibility and discretion–really granted more at the municipal level–to allow for the potential for some of these things,” Select Board Chair Megan English Braga said.

That flexibility, Mullin said, is limited without more relief from the state. English Braga said that Falmouth is not alone in this issue, as other towns statewide have the same obstacles to face.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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