City ordered to rethink Open Restaurants program

Planning for the city’s Open Restaurants program has hit a snag.

The zoning text essential to the permanent availability of al fresco tables at eateries is no longer effective, according to Judge Frank Nervo, who ruled Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. He said the city did not prepare the necessary environmental impact statement before claiming that the outdoor dining program would not have any significant effect.

“The programs have, at a minimum, impacted traffic and noise levels, and may have significantly impacted sanitation,” Nervo wrote. Because the changes could be significant, he said, the city must do the environmental impact studies required under the state’s Environmental

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