Philadelphia officials announced new restaurant guidelines that offer outdoor dining during the cold months ahead.
As the low temperatures of autumn and winter approach, they establish measures related to types of shelters and heating sources restaurants can use.
The restaurant guidelines consider that the owners will not have to obtain a city building permit for prefabricated tents and canopies, but they will have to obtain a right-of-way permit, which applies for all shelters.
On the other hand, owners will need to get a building permit if they plan to use a shelter made of pliable material that is attached to their building but set up over a sidewalk. Similarly, these shelters will need a right-of-way permit of they block the sidewalk or street.
The restaurant guidelines specify that if the owners place a shelter made of non-pliable material like wood. They will also have to get a building permit too.
Restaurant guidelines for cold months
Electric, propane or natural gas heaters are allowed, but they have to be made specifically for outdoor use. If they are electric they must be placed three feet away from combustible materials. If the heaters are powered by propane or natural gas they need to be placed five feet away.
Concerning heaters, the restaurant guidelines say also that they must be secured and tamper-proof. The ones which use kerosene or open flames are not allowed.
Heaters powered by electricity, propane, or natural gas are authorized in outdoor dining areas. But only if they are manufactured for outdoor use.