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Guideline on the Application for and Operation of Commercial and Summer Gardens in Frankfurt/Main

Example of a summer garden in a public thoroughfare, © Stadtplanungsamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main

This is the first time the Frankfurt City Municipal Authority has published a Guideline for the Application for and Operation of Commercial and Summer Gardens.

The main objective: to promote and facilitate outdoor hospitality. That said, both commercial gardens situated on private land and summer gardens located in public spaces require permits. Meaning that proprietors need to navigate their way through complex and legally challenging questions. The guideline thus identifies the scope and limits set by the statutory regulations, pointing Frankfurt’s proprietors in the right direction.

The guideline gives an overview of the applicable by-laws, legal sources and application procedures, and includes practical information on topics such as fees, contractual partners and opening times of the municipal departments in question.

The guidelines have been designed to guarantee barrier-free access, safety and overall sound operation in the public space. Moreover, some basic public space design concepts were agreed with the City Planning Department’s “Public Space” section, the intention being to ensure a neat and harmonious cityscape in the future. To this end, provisions on the installation and type of parasols, seating, fences, plant tubs and advertising that will ensure high-quality exterior landscaping and design. These are illustrated in the guideline by examples and illustrations.

All regulations and limitations in the guideline have been designed with the goal of aligning the various interests that come together in the public space – to the benefit of guests, proprietors and locals residents alike.

The guideline was developed by a round table (“Runder Tisch Aussengastronomie”) constituted by City Council resolution. The working party was composed of City of Frankfurt municipal departments – including the City Planning Department, which represented the urban planning interests in the guideline; representatives of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association DEHOGA and the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce participated.

The guideline can be downloaded free of charge and offers proprietors the opportunity to prepare for the outdoor season.

For further information proprietors wishing to establish a commercial garden on private land are advised to contact the building authority in charge.

Proprietors wishing to establish a summer garden in a public thoroughfare should contact the Highways Department (Amt für Strassenbau und Erschliessung).