Selectmen Consider Shortening Outdoor Dining Season in 2024; ADA Accessibility & Compliance Urged

The Board of Selectmen had a First Read on Feb 8 of proposed fees to restaurants and dates for the 2024 outdoor dining season.

The plans were presented by Town Administrator, Ben Branyan.

Outdoor dining inside a node on Greenwich Ave. August 2023

There are two sets of fees, one for the disposed parking spots and one for the installation and removal of the concrete jersey barriers that form the enclosures in parking spaces.

When the nodes were first introduced as an emergency measure during the pandemic there were no fees.

Since then there have been fees. And they have increased.

Branyan noted 2024 will be the fourth year of outdoor dining inside the nodes and his efforts were in collaboration with Parking Services, Planning & Zoning and the Dept of Public Works.

The Board of Selectmen serve as the town’s Traffic Authority, including parking on public highways.

Planning & Zoning’s jurisdiction is over what is permitted inside the nodes.

DPW installs and removes the jersey barriers.

Empty nodes on Nov 21, 2022 ready for removal.


Last year the season ran from April through November 20 for a total of about 8 months.

This year, Branyan proposed shortening the end date for outdoor dining to November 3, for a total of 217 days of operation, down from 232 in 2023.

Alyssa Keleshian, a Greenwich Avenue property owner whose tenants include six restaurants, said they all favored an early November end date.

She noted that November kicks off the holiday season begins, and the installation of lights in the trees, “creates a whole new vitality.”

As for November outdoor dining, she said, “It’s dark, it’s cold, it’s unsightly. There’s maintenance issues with leaves and snow.”

Keleshian said the outdoor dining in November was “barely used.”

“To remove those in early November would be terrific,” she said.

The actual cost per restaurant on average last year was $25.04 per day. This year, Branyan’s proposal boiled down to $36.87 per day. He said that fee reflected the potential revenue that would otherwise be generated by parking spots.

He noted the increase reflected a change in the increased hourly fee at parking meters from $1.00 to $1.50.

The revenue collected for use of public parking spaces is deposited to Parking Services Fund. The fee to install and remove the barriers is considered revenue for the DPW Highway.

The cost of the concrete traffic barriers to restaurants was proposed at $29.00 per linear foot.  That revenue goes to DPW Highway fund. Outdoor dining areas must not expand past the restaurant’s building street frontage, and not exceed four parking spaces per restaurant.

Last year, 59 parking stalls on or near Greenwich Ave were occupied with outdoor dining.

The Town collected total of $116,203 in fees from 20 restaurants last year. Fees included $22,275 in barrier costs and $93,928 in parking stalls revenue.

An outdoor dining node blocking an ADA parking space outside Mediterraneo on Greenwich Ave. July 2023


ADA Compliance
During the Feb 8 Selectmen meeting, Steph Cowie from the First Selectman’s Committee for People with Disabilities talked about compliance and accessibility.

“We want to ensure that a ADA accessibility requirements for outdoor dining will continue to be required, and enforced, and followed by all participating restaurants,” she said.

“It is important that every restaurant abide by the regulations regarding accessibility in and around their outdoor dining locations,” Cowie added.

“Equally important is that the Town of Greenwich continue to enforce the regulations. For those who are not following the requirements, all outdoor dining is required to be accessible to all, easy access to the outdoor dining spaces, and a clear and safe access and passage to sidewalks.”

Mr. Branyan said the ADA issue was “front and center” with all the departments. He said even if the accessibility was not in the regulations, it is required by federal law.  

On Feb 14, P&Z director/town planner Patrick LaRow explained in an email that his office was not responsible for enforcing outdoor dining ADA regulations under zoning.

“We would not be able issue a zoning violation for such items. When found, we inform DPW and the Building Inspection Division,” he said.

LaRow said that last summer, at the end of August, P&Z issued violations to restaurants operating outdoor dining without permits or having paid fees:

  • Joe’s Studio – 185 Sound Beach Ave
  • CFCF Coffee – 118 Greenwich Ave and 6 Grigg St
  • Falafel Taco – 28 Greenwich Ave
  • Granola Bar – 41 Greenwich Ave
  • La Fenice – 315 Greenwich Ave
  • Gregory’s Coffee – 342 Greenwich Ave
  • Canoe – 280 Railroad Ave
  • Grigg St Pizza – 1 Grigg St
  • Bella Nonna – 280 Railroad Ave
  • Fenced 40 x 50 ft outdoor dining area at Glenville Pizza at 243 Glenville Road

    Glenville Pizza – 243 Glenville Road
  • Cos Cobber – 31 East Putnam Ave
  • Fairfield Pizza – 1 Strickland Road
  • Tomatillo – 65 East Putnam Ave
  • Polpo – 554 Old Post Road #3
  • Coast – 206 East Putnam Ave.

Furthermore, LaRow said the following establishment was noticed for exceeding their approved maximum seating:

  • Sweet Pea’s Baking Co – 212 Sound Beach Ave.

On Feb 14, 2024, Mr. LaRow said repeat notices had been sent to the following for again not having approvals:

  • Granola Bar – 41 Greenwich Ave
  • Gregory’s Coffee – 342 Greenwich Ave

Additionally noticed

  • Doppio – 41 East Elm St – for keeping seats out beyond the dining season.

Tables and chairs stored on the sidewalk outside Doppio. Feb 2024

Tables, chairs and a bussing station outside Doppio. Feb 2024



Bare concrete barriers outside LaTaqueria in July 2022

Design Contest
First Selectman Camillo announced a contest where people can suggest designs to make the concrete barriers more attractive.

The catch is that they cannot be painted because the barriers are used for other purposes than outdoor dining.

He said there had been talk of stretching “skins” over them, and that was still possible.

Selectwoman Lauren Rabin said her Reimagine Greenwich committee would select the winners of the contest with the goal of implementing the design in time for April.

First Read, Second Read

Branyan’s presentation was a first read.

The Selectmen will have a second read at their next meeting and potentially a vote.

The planned February 22 Selectmen meeting has been canceled and instead they will hold a special meeting via Zoom only on Tuesday, Feb 20 at 10:00am to discuss the outdoor dining regulations for 2024. 

See also:

P&Z Revised Outdoor Dining Reg Adds Teeth: Violations Risk Immediate Closure December 2022

P&Z Watch: Does Lack of Enforcement Manpower Correlate to Violations of Greenwich Outdoor Dining Regs? September 2023