The Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday sponsored by State Representative Denise Driehaus (D–Cincinnati) to allow cities over a certain population to create Outdoor Refreshment Districts.
“It is our goal that these outdoor refreshment areas be used to create another incentive for Ohioans to patronize local businesses,” Rep. Driehaus said. “Ultimately, HB 47 is about creating economic vitality in our communities.”
The bill would allow cities with a population of over 35,000 to apply for Outdoor Refreshment District areas within their cities. Specifically, it would allow cities with a population between 35,000 and 50,000 to create one Outdoor Refreshment District, while cities with over 50,000 would have the opportunity to create two.
The legislation requires that before applying for permits, cities must plan to adopt public health and safety requirements for Outdoor Refreshment Districts, including the specific boundaries of the area, hours of operation, and a sanitation plan that will help maintain the appearance and public health of the area.
Rep. Driehaus was joined by Republican Rep. Louis W. Blessing, III in sponsoring the legislation.
The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.