St. Pete restaurants now require a permit for parking tables
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla .– Restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg using their parking spaces for table service will now need to obtain a temporary use permit by Friday.
What would you like to know
- A permit is now required for restaurants to use their parking lot as a place for tables
- Additional seats were only allowed under the local state of emergency
- State of emergency expires Thursday
- City plans to make parking spaces permanent, but is expected to change city code
Seats crossing the sidewalks and parking lots of several of the city’s restaurants have become popular over the past year and were permitted under the local state of emergency.
The state of emergency for the city of St. Pete expires Thursday and with it the possibility for restaurants to have tables on the street. The city has been working throughout the week to find a way for restaurants to maintain their seat arrests despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to suspend local emergency restrictions against COVID-19.
“We didn’t know the governor was coming to town to enter the orders he made. So we were really trying to scramble to see what we needed to do, ”said St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman.
City staff decided that temporary user permits were the best option for restaurants to keep their extended seats.
“Responding to pedestrians works better for this central avenue vibe than any parking lot could for the city,” said Terry Moberly of Five Bucks Drinkery.
At Five Bucks, Moberly says they only have 7 tables inside, so the elongated outside seats have been crucial for them.
“It was a blessing for us to keep paying the bills,” he said.
Kriseman says the city is considering making the parking spaces permanent, but that would mean a city code change. This should be done through a city council vote that would only take place in August or September.