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Permits for outdoor dining in downtown to be good for four years under Town Board proposal

The Riverhead Town Board is poised to increase the time that local businesses can maintain outdoor dining in front of their businesses. 

The Town Board held a public hearing last Tuesday on a proposal for permits to make outdoor dining at sidewalk cafes valid for four years, instead of requiring the current annual renewals.

There were no speakers on the issue other than town attorney Erik Howard. The permits, which are revocable, will be issued by the town fire marshal.

“This has been beneficial to our restaurant owners downtown to do this,” said Councilman Tim Hubbard. “They are happy with it, the customers are happy and we haven’t had any issues with it.”

“Anything we can do to help the business community during hard times,” Councilman Frank Beyrodt added.

The town first allowed sidewalk cafes during the pandemic, when many people didn’t want to dine indoors. 

The board voted to keep the public hearing open for written comments until Friday, June 17.