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City of Kaukauna

City of Kaukauna Adopts Temporary Outdoor Seating Area Permit

The Common Council of the City of Kaukauna adopted the Temporary Outdoor Seating Area permit at their June 2nd meeting. This new permit is born in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks to assist bars and restaurants in the City of Kaukauna with greater flexibility for increased outdoor seating. Health experts believe that people are far less likely to contract the novel coronavirus outside. This permit follows precedent set by other Wisconsin municipalities such as Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Neenah, and Sheboygan, among others.

As food and beverage industry businesses reopen in the State of Wisconsin without binding guidelines on health and safety practices related to COVID-19 (the state economic development organization has issued suggested guidelines and practices), the City of Kaukauna hopes to encourage flexibility for this industry to maintain their capacities across a larger area while also adhering to state recommended guidelines of social distancing.

“We are hopeful that the adoption of the Temporary Outdoor Seating Area permit will allow for Kaukauna bars and restaurants to bring in their regular number of customers while also ensuring health and safety of guests and workers. If we can consider flexibility in our processes to help small businesses during this difficult time, we’re happy to bring those ideas before the Common Council”, shared Mayor Tony Penterman.

The Temporary Outdoor Seating Area permit allows for businesses to expand seating on private property (such as on a private sidewalk or parking lot) provided they implement social distancing between tables. Outdoor seating areas on private property are already permitted by municipal code, but the temporary permit features fewer restrictions in terms of construction and capacity. This permit is also being issued with no fee. Restrictions for the temporary seating area vary slightly depending on the nature of the specific business (such as whether they serve alcohol or not) and the configuration of their specific building and property.

Businesses without private parking lots, such as downtown food and beverage industry businesses, can already add outdoor seating under the City of Kaukauna Sidewalk Café permit. Fees for this permit vary depending on the nature of the applicant business. If businesses are unsure of which permit they need to apply for to add outdoor seating, they should contact City staff at [email protected] or by phone at (920) 766-6315. City staff seek to have a quick turnaround time on outdoor seating permits. The Temporary Outdoor Seating Area permit is valid through October 1, 2020.

Click here for the application for the Temporary Outdoor Seating Area permit.