The expansion of outdoor dining in Needham was born out of a desire to support local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide the community with options for safe dining. Since then, the business community and residents have expressed a strong interest in allowing outdoor dining to remain beyond the pandemic. The Select Board is currently considering a policy to outline what is required of restaurants and how the Board will review and approve applications for outdoor dining on public property.
On October 25, 2021 Special Town Meeting approved a zoning change to allow outdoor dining in public parking spaces. The Select Board's policy will guide the decision-making around outdoor dining applications.