Outdoor Dining


On June 1, 2020, the Vienna Town Council approved an emergency ordinance to permit temporary waivers for outdoor commercial activity, specifically to assist businesses that were adversely affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Town Council approved several extensions, with the final extension on June 7, 2021, which is expired on Dec. 7, 2021. The emergency ordinance could not be extended past Dec. 30, 2021, six-months past when the Commonwealth of Virginia’s State of Emergency expired.

Twenty-two restaurants received approval for temporary outdoor dining. Of those 22 restaurants, 13 utilized off-street parking spaces for outdoor dining space. Staff observed a total of 58 off-street parking spaces being utilized.

The Town Council voted on December 6, 2021 to approve text amendments that allow restaurants with temporary outdoor dining permits to continue operating under the permits until June 30, 2022.

Town Council and the Planning Commission held a joint public hearing on May 11, 2022 to review proposed code amendments related to outdoor dining. The final code amendment was adopted by Town Council on June 6, 2022. 

Code Amendment

The full code amendment adopted on June 6, 2022 may be viewed here: https://library.municode.com/va/vienna/ordinances/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=1154003

The code amendment was effective June 18, 2022, 10 days after the amendment was posted publicly in the newspaper.

Establishments with temporary outdoor dining permits must apply for a permit within sixty days of the effective date of the ordinance.

The following is a summary of the changes included in the amended regulations, please refer to adopted code language for full regulations:

-  May not serve alcohol outside.

-  May not have servers outside.

-  May have no more than 8 seats.

-  Hours of operation ending at 7 pm

Past Meetings

November 3, 2021 - 6 pm

Planning Commission Public Hearing (Planning Commission voted 6-0 to recommend approval of proposed ordinance as presented to Town Council)

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=23358&GUID=4A3C71F0-972F-4A16-97B8-5CCE0D95ECB9 

November 4, 2021 - 7:30 pm 

Planning Commission Public Hearing (cancelled since public hearing was closed at November 3, 2021 meeting)

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=23358&GUID=4A3C71F0-972F-4A16-97B8-5CCE0D95ECB9 

November 15, 2021 - 8:00 pm 

Town Council Public Hearing (Town Council voted to close the public hearing and further discuss the proposed ordinance at the December 6 Town Council meeting.  Town Council will hold a conference session prior to the December 6th meeting on November 30, 2021. Town Council also voted to extend the emergency ordinance allowing outdoor dining to December 31, 2021)

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5209526&GUID=9563161F-A63A-4EC4-9367-27EF0CAE1D9A&Options=&Search= 

November 30, 2021 - 7:00 pm 

Town Council Conference Session (please be aware that the public is not allowed to speak at conference sessions)

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5256178&GUID=DF3099F4-B9D3-414E-9AAD-9E1CB29BA1DC&Options=&Search= 

December 6, 2021 - 8:00 pm 

Town Council Regular Meeting (Town Council voted to approve a text amendment that allows restaurants with temporary permits for outdoor dining to continue operating under permits until June 30, 2022, with a few conditions)

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5338889&GUID=86F2CF8E-3131-4A12-859A-1557D60A9C89&Options=&Search= 

May 11, 2022 - 7:30 pm

Joint Public Hearing with Planning Commission and Town Council

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5641613&GUID=10ADDAB2-46BC-4F9B-89D8-9A0670A844D2&Options=&Search=

June 6, 2022 - 8:00 pm

Town Council Meeting (Intent to Adopt Text Amendments Related to Outdoor Dining in Sections 18-72, 18-74, and 18-210)

Link to materials - https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5666145&GUID=307FC4D0-2AF4-48A8-8A4C-644D9164B43C&Options=&Search=