Town Adopts New Seating and Merchandise Display Ordinances for Sidewalks

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017
Town Adopts New Seating and Merchandise Display Ordinances for Sidewalks
The revised ordinances are intended to help businesses be successful while maintaining a clear pedestrian sidewalk path.

Over the next few months, businesses may be making some changes to outdoor seating areas, particularly on the newly widened North Churton Street sidewalks.

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners passed ordinance amendments Sept. 11 that require business owners to apply for a permit for outdoor seating on public sidewalks. Additionally, the board passed more specific requirements for the display of merchandise on public sidewalks.

Business owners wanting to display merchandise on the public sidewalk should adhere to the new requirements immediately. The town will begin enforcing the permit requirements for outdoor seating areas on Jan. 1, 2018.

Economic Development Planner Shannan Campbell is working with restaurant owners to help define areas for outdoor seating with rope, moveable fencing and planters. Features of the outdoor seating areas will be required to be made out of wood, metal and natural fibers, in keeping with the Historic District Commission’s requirements for the Historic District.

“The purpose of these revised ordinances is to help our businesses be successful, add to the vibrancy of the streetscape, and also to maintain a clear pedestrian path on our improved sidewalks,” Campbell said.

The merchandise display portion of the amendments requires that merchandise stay along building frontages and out of the pedestrian path, that merchandise and displays are maintained in good repair and that merchandise must be brought inside when the business is not open. The changes also make clear that the town is not liable for merchandise displayed on public sidewalks.


For more information, contact the town’s economic development planner by email or by phone at 919-296-9477.