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City of San Mateo Municipal Code.


(a) Restaurant Seating. Restaurant seating located on public sidewalks must meet the following standards and conditions of use:

(1) Clearance. The physical extent of the seating encroachment must be located so as to permanently maintain a minimum sidewalk pedestrian through zone of four (4) feet, free and clear between: (A) the outer boundary of the seating area and any physical obstruction, such as light standards, parking meters, news racks, trees, curb or other barrier; and (B) the entryways or display window of adjacent businesses, unless authorized by the adjacent business.

(2) Physical Delineation of Seating Area. The physical extent of the seating encroachment may be clearly delineated by physical means, which, if either required or voluntarily placed, shall be approved as part of the encroachment permit and designed to be decorative, durable, removable and minimize tripping hazards.

(3) Other Limitations. Tables, seating and any approved physical barriers to delineate the seating area are the only items permitted to be located on the sidewalk. These items shall be removed from the public sidewalk at the close of business each day. Other items, such as busing stations, are not permitted on public sidewalks.

(4) Liability Insurance. Applicants for restaurant seating on the public sidewalk shall provide liability insurance providing endorsements showing the City of San Mateo as additional insured on the policy, in an amount determined by the City Attorney's office. Encroachment permits issued under authority of this chapter shall be valid only during the term of liability insurance coverage.

(5) Site Maintenance. Sidewalk seating areas shall be maintained free of litter, refuse and debris. The area shall be scrubbed and mopped to remove any food or drink stains on a daily basis. Such cleaning shall be performed in accordance with the City's Stormwater Management and Discharge Control Program, which prohibits any discharge other than stormwater into the stormwater drainage system. The applicant shall post maintenance security in a form and amount determined upon issuance of the encroachment permit. Failure to maintain the site shall be cause for termination of the encroachment permit.

(6) Encroachment Fee. The applicant shall pay an annual fee in the amount set forth in the Comprehensive Fee Schedule.

(b) Merchandise Display. Merchandise display on private property must meet the following standards:

(1) Private Property. Outdoor merchandise display shall be maintained completely on private property in the immediate vicinity of the store entryway, such as in recessed entryways or along storefronts.

(2) Accessibility. Merchandise display areas shall maintain accessibility requirements for the disabled.