Extended footpath trading – COVID-19

1. What we're doing to help

The City of Stonnington is working to open up additional outdoor dining spaces for hospitality businesses in Stonnington as we head into the warmer months in line with the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 roadmap to reopening.

The Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit is one of the ways we're doing this.

This free permit allows businesses that meet defined criteria(PDF, 660KB) the opportunity to extend their existing footpath trading area into neighbouring space where it is vacant or with the consent of neighbouring businesses.

There is no charge for businesses to apply for this and footpath trading permit renewal fees will not be charged for the period from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 as part of our commitment to support businesses through COVID-19.

 

2. Conditions and requirements

Who can apply?

Hospitality businesses are encouraged to extend their footpath trading space across a maximum of two neighbouring properties. This is provided you have an existing footpath trading permit and:

  • A neighbouring property is vacant
  • Your neighbours do not use their footpath trading space and they give you consent to do so.

If you do not have an existing footpath trading permit, apply for a permit first before requesting an extension.

What’s permitted?

Only tables, chairs, umbrellas, gas heaters and safety barriers will be permitted in a COVID-19 outdoor dining area. The number of tables and chairs cannot accommodate a greater number of people than permitted within density/social distancing requirements (determined by the Victorian Government).

Existing street furniture, infrastructure and fixtures in front of a neighbouring premises will not be relocated to facilitate an express permit. However, our team can work with you to facilitate as part of a longer application if possible.

Site conditions

Business must be able to meet the following site criteria to be eligible to apply for an Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit:

  • The proposed affected footpath must have a minimum width (from the edge of the building façade to the kerb) of 2.7m.
  • The edge of the proposed outdoor dining zone must not be:
    • Adjacent to bus stops, loading zones, truck zones, tram stops or other transport and parking infrastructure.
    • Within 10 metres of a non-signalised intersection.
    • Within 20 metres of a signalised intersection.
    • Adjacent to where there is no parking next to the kerb.

Change in circumstances of neighbouring business

An updated letter of consent signed by the new occupier must be submitted if the neighbouring business is sold, or a new business moves into a previously vacant shop.

Council may cancel any permit if a neighbouring business owner withdraws their consent for an outdoor dining area in front of their premises

Extended footpath trading and liquor service or consumption

A COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit does not permit the supply, serving or consumption of liquor in the outdoor dining area.

Businesses that currently hold a Liquor Licence for the supply or consumption of liquor on the footpath may apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) for a Liquor Licence to permit the supply or consumption of liquor outside of their existing redline.

Businesses may only supply or allow for the consumption of liquor in a COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area (in the Trading Zone) provided they have obtained all required permits, licences and authorisations.

Council may cancel a COVID-19 Outdoor dining area permit if the supply or consumption of liquor in a COVID-19 outdoor dining area is or may be deemed to be detrimental to public safety or the amenity of the area.

Expiry

The COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit is a temporary measure to address COVID-19 impacts and may be modified by Council without notice. The COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit will otherwise cease to have effect from 1 April 2021 or at which time Footpath Trading Permit renewals are due in 2021.

Responsibilities of a COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Permit holder

At all times the permit holder must:

  • Monitor and manage their COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area to ensure they are operating consistent with the requirements set out in the Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit Framework and their permit.
  • Operate in accordance with the conditions of any other Council issued permit for the business or premises.
  • Operate in accordance with the conditions of their Liquor Licence (if applicable).
  • Observe all local law provisions relating to footpath trading, including noise, responsible service of liquor, and health and amenity.
  • Ensure the following does not occur:
    • Staff and patrons do not move furniture outside of the Trading Zone.
    • Staff and patrons do not allow pets, prams, bicycles or any other personal items to obstruct the Pedestrian or Kerb Zones.
    • Staff do not serve food or beverages to a person outside of the Trading Zone.
    • Patrons do not congregate in the Pedestrian or Kerb Zones.
    • Patron behaviour does not interfere with the use or enjoyment of the area by other patrons or members of the public.

See our Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit Framework(PDF, 660KB) for additional information.

 

3. Design guidelines and zones

For clarity, the footpath may be described as being made up of four zones(PDF, 861KB):

  • Pedestrian Zone
  • Kerb Zone
  • Trading Zone
  • Access Zone

Pedestrian Zone

The Pedestrian Zone is the area that extends from the building line to the Trading Zone. This Pedestrian Zone is for the exclusive use of pedestrians and must be kept free from obstructions at all times.

The minimum width of the Pedestrian Zone (measured from the building façade to the kerb edge) is 1.5m.

Kerb Zone

The Kerb Zone is the area between the edge of the kerb and the Trading Zone. The Kerb Zone is important for allowing access to and from parked vehicles. The Kerb Zone must be kept free from obstructions at all times.

The minimum width of the Kerb Zone is 300mm.

Trading Zone

The Trading Zone is the area left between the outer edge of the Pedestrian Zone and the inner edge of the Kerb Zone. It is the only area of the footpath in which outdoor dining furniture may be placed. Furniture must not encroach into the Pedestrian Zone or Kerb Zones at any time and it is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure this throughout trading.

Footpath zones.jpg

 

Access Zone

Access Zones are required between abutting Trading Zones. Access Zones allow pedestrians to safely move from the street to the footpath. The minimum width of an Access Zone is 1m. Access Zones are required at the edge of a building line or if a trading zone extends over a length greater than 10 metres an Access Zone will be required to be created in the centre of the Trading Zone.

Access zone.jpg

 

Furniture in the outdoor dining area

In addition to maintaining a 1.5m Pedestrian Zone, 300mm Kerb Zone and 1m Access Zone, a minimum 500mm setback must be maintained between furniture in the Trading Zone and public assets all time. Public assets include but are not limited to street trees, litter bins, public seats and bike racks, pay phones, bicycle stands, bollards, tree pits, planter boxes and poles.

Design guidelines 

A set of design guidelines has been developed to guide furniture placement in approved outdoor dining areas to ensure a safe, clear and suitably unobstructed walkway for pedestrian access.

Permitted furniture in an extended outdoor dining area includes, tables, chairs, seating barriers, heaters (min. height 2.2m) and umbrellas (min. height 2.2m).

Tables, chairs and safety barriers placed within a COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area must not exceed 1m in height. Therefore, bar-style furniture (i.e.barstools) is not permitted.

Chairs should be oriented parallel with the footpath.

Furniture should be hardy and sturdy to resist wind gusts and secured to ensure that they are not moved or knocked over with weights or sandbags.

Furniture will not be permitted to be installed permanently. All furniture proposed in the COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area must be removed at close of business each day and stored within the business premises outside of operating hours of the business.

Bottle gas heaters (or any part of) and umbrellas (or any part of) must be positioned a minimum of 600mm from the kerb and entirely within the trading zone.

Operators are responsible for public safety, cleanliness, tidiness and the removal of any rubbish arising from the use of public spaces for outdoor dining, at all times.

Heaters are not be permitted under awnings. Elsewhere, heaters must:

  • Be covered by the business owner’s public liability insurance.
  • Comply with Australian Standards, for more information contact Energy Safe Victoria.

 

4. Application, assessment and resources

Who can apply?

Hospitality businesses with an existing footpath trading permit are encouraged to extend their footpath trading space across a maximum of two neighbouring properties if you have an existing footpath trading permit and:

  • A neighbouring property is vacant
  • Neighbouring businesses do not use their footpath trading space and they give you consent to do so.

If you do not have existing footpath trading permit, apply for a permit first before requesting an extension.

Make an application

To apply for an Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit applicants will need to:

  • Submit a completed Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit application online (link below).
  • Hold a current City of Stonnington Footpath Trading Permit (Dining).
  • Hold public liability insurance of 20 million dollars and ensure that insurance reflects the address(es) of all premises in front of which the applicant is proposing outdoor dining. A Certificate of Currency will need to be provided with this application.
  • Obtain in writing (email or letter), the consent of the neighbouring business owner/(s) to occupy the footpath in front of their shop(s) (except in situations where the neighbouring allotment is a vacant shop) – see our template letter here(DOCX, 21KB)
  • Provide a dimensioned site plan (at an appropriate scale) showing:
    • The principal shop frontage and the shop frontages in front of which outdoor dining is proposed.
    • The width of the Kerb Zone, Pedestrian Zone, the resultant width of the Trading Zone and the length of the Trading Zone as well as Access Zones if required (refer to design guidelines below).
    • All existing street and footpath features within or near the proposed outdoor dining area such as trees, light poles, rubbish bins, bike racks, public transport shelters, fire hydrants, signs and pits.
    • Car parking and parking restrictions adjacent to the Kerb Zone of the proposed outdoor dining area.
    • The location of furniture proposed to be placed in the extended outdoor dining area (a list of allowable furniture is provided under Design Guidelines above).

See our template site plan(PDF, 861KB).

Failure to submit any of the above information may result in your application being unsuccessful and your Express COVID-19 Extended Outdoor Dining Area Permit being refused.

Depending on the information provide in your application, you may receive immediate provisional approval for an Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Permit by email and you can commence footpath trading if permitted within the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 roadmap to reopening.

If you don’t receive an express permit, our team will contact you to see if your application can be progressed.

Importantly, you must not serve liquor in your expanded footpath trading area until you extend your liquor licence (red line) with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor

Resources to help you

Express COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Area Framework(PDF, 660KB)

Template letter of consent from neighbouring businesses

Template site plan

Apply here

 

5. Frequently asked questions

We'll be adding to this information as questions emerge, please call 8290 1439 if you need additional information.  

I don’t have an existing footpath trading permit, can I apply for an extension at the same time?

Only hospitality businesses with existing footpath trading permits can apply for an express COVID-19 outdoor dining area permit. If you would like to apply for a new footpath trading permit, you can do so here.

Once approved you can then apply for an extension into neighbouring businesses.

How much does this cost?

Footpath trading permit application, extension or renewal fees will not be charged for until 31 March 2021 as part of our COVID-19 support program for businesses.

I don’t run a hospitality business, can I apply for this?

Express COVID-19 outdoor dining area permits are only for Stonnington based hospitality businesses, this is line with the expectations of the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 reopening roadmap.

As soon as I get permission can I set up tables and start trading?

Based on the information provided in an application, provisional approval may be possible for an express permit, but please do not start trading until allowed in the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 reopening roadmap.

You will receive an email outlining the next steps shortly after applying.

Does my liquor licence automatically extend to cover the proposed outdoor dining area?

No. Once you have your express COVID-19 outdoor dining area permit you will need to apply to extend your existing licence with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.

What furniture can I use?

Permitted furniture in an extended outdoor dining area includes, tables, chairs, seating barriers, heaters (min. height 2.2m) and umbrellas (min. height 2.2m).

Tables, chairs and safety barriers placed within an outdoor dining area must not exceed 1m in height. Therefore, bar-style furniture (i.e. barstools) are not permitted.

Chairs should be oriented parallel with the footpath.

Furniture should be hardy and sturdy to resist wind gusts and secured to ensure that they are not moved or knocked over with weights or sandbags.

Furniture is not permitted to be installed permanently. All furniture proposed in outdoor dining areas must be removed at close of business each day and stored within the business premises outside of operating hours of the business.

The building two stores down from me is vacant as well, can I use that?

Yes. Businesses are allowed to apply for up to two additional footpath trading addresses, these must be neighbouring to your business. For example:

  • The two businesses either side of you
  • Two businesses to the left of you
  • Two businesses to right of you

An example of something that would not be allowed is applying to use the footpath trading for a property immediately to your left and one two properties down on your right.

The restaurant next to me has asked me if they can use my space, do I have to provide it?

No, this is entirely up to you but please consider assisting neighbouring hospitality businesses where possible due to the Victorian Government’s restrictions on eating indoors.