Wichita to see more outdoor dining, shopping if ordinance passes Tuesday

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Social distancing guidelines and mandates that close businesses early have taken a toll on some Wichita area restaurants, bars, and shops. An ordinance up for discussion in Tuesday’s Wichita City Council meeting seeks to remedy some of that pain.

“Open Air ICT” temporary use permits allow business owners to use the outdoor exterior of properties, city right of ways, public street parking and off-street parking lots to
provide additional outdoor space for customers and merchandise sales.

It’s a concept city engineer Gary Janzen tells KSN is already in use, namely in Old Town.

“We’re going to loosen up those requirements now and make it a lot easier for business to get this done and get it done in a hurry. We’ve got an online application process that we did not previously have, we’re doing everything we can to expedite that and provide information upfront,” Janzen said.

Businesses can apply for a permit at no cost. If the ordinance passes, Janzen says a city official will be in contact with businesses that apply within 48 hours.

The concept is widely used in cities like Portland and Cincinnati.

Stay with KSN for updates.

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