Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas - New Chapter 32 in Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:32)
Statement of Basis and Purpose
This amendment to Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York (“RCNY”) is promulgated pursuant to sections 556 and 1043 of the New York City Charter (“the Charter”). Section 556 of the Charter broadly authorizes the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“the Department”) to regulate all matters pertaining to the health of the City, including the City’s food supply. Section 1043 grants the Department rule-making authority.
A new §1352-e of the New York State Public Health Law (“PHL”) authorizes operators of food service establishments to allow companion or pet dogs to accompany owner-patrons in certain outdoor dining areas of their establishments, subject to control measures approved by a locality’s enforcement agency.
In the City of New York (“the City”), the Department is such enforcement agency, and the Commissioner of the Department is the “permit issuing official” designated in the New York State Sanitary Code (10 NYCRR Chapter 1) to enforce provisions of the Sanitary Code applicable to the operation of food service establishments. Food service establishments in the City are also subject to provisions of the New York City Health Code, Chapter 23 (Title 24 of the RCNY) and various provisions of the New York City Administrative Code and the State Public Health Law. The Department’s Division of Environmental Health enforces the provisions of the Administrative, Sanitary and Health Codes and Department rules applicable to food service establishments.
PHL §1352-e overrides New York City Health Code §81.25 and New York State Sanitary Code §14-1.183, which together prohibit any live animals other than service animals and food fish in tanks in such establishments. PHL §1352-e authorizes the owners and operators of food service establishments to decide whether to allow dogs other than service animals in their establishments provided that the “owner ensures compliance with local ordinances related to sidewalks, public nuisance and sanitation; and … such other control measures approved by the enforcement agency are complied with.” These proposed amendments to the Department’s rules would constitute the “control measures approved by the enforcement agency.”
These control measures are necessary to safeguard public health and safety. The proposed rule amends Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York (“RCNY”) to:
- Define terms used in the Chapter in accordance with definitions used in the New York City Health Code and other applicable law;
- Authorize owners of food service establishments to continue to prohibit dogs;
- Require certain policies to be established if owners allow dogs in their establishments, such as only licensed and currently vaccinated dogs may enter establishments;
- Require signage as to whether dogs are being allowed;
- Specify how sanitary conditions are to be maintained and require fencing; and
- Provide that any violation of this Chapter will be cited as a violation of and bear the same penalties as a violation of §81.25 of the Health Code.