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Planning looks at extending outdoor dining

By Kevin Elliott

The Birmingham Planning Board is taking up the task of updating the city’s outdoor dining ordinance, with a study session at their meeting on Wednesday, July 14, but initial research shows little to use for comparison.

While there are many outdoor dining options in the metro Detroit area, there appears to be little uniform regulation when it comes to outdoor dining ordinances, said Birmingham planner Nicholas Dupuis.

“I found it quite interesting that almost everywhere I looked there really wasn’t anything as in-depth as we have now, which we are actually trying to make more – I don’t want to say complicated – but more in-depth,” Dupuis said. “Berkley, Royal Oak, Plymouth, Rochester Hills and Lake Orion were the only ones that I found worth including. I looked all around Detroit, Ferndale and Ann Arbor, and there was really nothing there… it was rather hard trying to bring specific ordinance language to reference.”

Dupuis asked planning board members on direction on that particular issue, as well as other areas of interest that he asked board members to consider, including whether the city wants to permit outdoor enclosures; when to involve owners in the discussion; and how to define enclosures.

Board members said they weren’t ready to define enclosures and would like to weigh some of the feedback the city has received through its website


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