New York City Mayor Eric Adams signed the City Council’s permanent outdoor dining legislation into law Wednesday at a press conference in the Bronx, but his Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi said she doesn’t think the city will profit off the permit fees.
Under the new program, food businesses will have to pay for the roadway space they use for outdoor dining by the square foot. Sidewalk outdoor dining already has costs associated with it. Rates will depend on the restaurant’s location. One square foot of sidewalk space will cost between $5 and $6, Joshi said, while one square foot of street space will cost between $5 and $31.
“I don’t think the city is really going to profit much off of these permits,” Joshi said. “This is really about accessibility. During the pandemic, people say, ‘Well, you gave it away for free,’ – we gave it away for free at a time when people didn’t have access to their restaurants at all.”
She didn’t say why she doesn’t foresee much profit or where the money will go.
Joshi added that the city “prices the roadway” for other uses as well, such as for staging of a construction site, for use by the film industry and even for parking in non-residential areas.
“This is no different,” she said. “This is infrastructure, you’re using the infrastructure, there is a cost that’s associated with it.”