HUDSON — More outdoor dining is coming to the city.

Hudson City Council on Tuesday approved legislation allowing downtown restaurants to apply for a license agreement that would allow outdoor patio dining on public rights of way. Restaurants on Main Street and within First and Main now will be able to offer outdoor seating as long as the location of the outdoor dining meets the criteria laid out in the legislation.

The city is working with downtown restaurants to help them with the licensing process, said city spokesperson Jody Roberts.

City administration and council members decided to move forward on this initiative as another way to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several restaurants already have outdoor seating on their property. The city already permits outdoor seating as an accessory use on private property which is regulated by the Land Development Code. 

Restaurants wanting to have outdoor dining on a public right of way or on private property can contact the Hudson Community Development Department for assistance with getting the necessary approvals.

Council is also reviewing a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) proposal. The DORA program would allow the patrons to purchase alcoholic beverages at existing restaurants in a designated district and be able to drink them while walking through the district.