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In this file photo, customers of The Marietta Local eat at tables on the sidewalk on Marietta Square.

Outside dining on Marietta Square will soon be a little more comfortable even though the weather is getting cooler.

The Marietta City Council has agreed to allow restaurants that lease sidewalk space to install heaters as they continue offering outdoor seating and promote social distancing this fall and winter.

Earlier this year, the council allowed restaurants on the Square to expand their outdoor dining into some of the wide sidewalks there, to space out tables in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

An ordinance amendment, passed by council members unanimously Wednesday, allows restaurants that lease sidewalk space from the city in the downtown historic district to use propane heaters with some regulations through March 2021.

Mayor Steve Tumlin said the amendment was adopted in response to local businesses.

“The sidewalks have been very beneficial to the businesses on the Square, primarily the restaurants, during COVID-19. And they do not want to lose this advantage of the sidewalks after the cold weather starts creeping in,” he said. “We see it as being very positive.”

The council also approved:

♦ Detailed plans for residential developments including a 40-townhome Pulte Homes development planned for 521 Atlanta Street and a 52-unit neighborhood on Cunningham Road by Venture Communities.

♦ A preliminary plan for a 15-townhome community at 1435 Cunningham Road by White Castle Consulting, LLC.

♦ A $221,000 sidewalk project on Alexander Circle to widen sidewalks, replace curbs, and install a new curb and gutter. Sidewalks will be five feet wide from Lakewood Drive to Frasier Street, eight feet from Frasier Street to Waterman Street and four and a half feet from 186 Alexander Street to 244 Roswell Street. According to City Manager Bill Bruton, the project should be completed early next year.

♦ Traffic calming measures for Manning Road, including a four-way stop at Laurel Park, a three-way stop at Kimberly Way, a brick landscaped median near Kimberly Way, a pedestrian crossing near Queensboro Square, lane narrowing between Burruss Elementary School and Marietta High School. The projects are estimated to cost $141,000 and will be funded from 2016 SPLOST dollars. Construction is to begin immediately and is projected to be completed in early 2021.

♦ Traffic calming measures at Polk Street and Stewart Avenue, including three-way stops at Polk Street and Lindley Avenue and at Mountain View Road and Mountain View Circle, a four-way stop at Stewart Avenue and Camp Street, a bike lane on Polk Street and lane narrowing, striping and driver feedback signs on Polk Street, Stewart Avenue, and Maple Avenue. The total estimated cost is $220,000 and will be funded from the 2016 SPLOST. It is projected to be completed by summer 2021.

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