The Honorable Carole A. Fiola, House Chair
The Honorable Jacob R. Oliveira, Senate Chair
Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government
State House, Boston

Delivered electronically

Dear Chair Fiola, Chair Oliveira, and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association would like to offer strong support for S. 1325, An Act Relative to Local Opt-In for Permanent Outdoor Dining.

This bill would make permanent the current flexibility for outdoor dining ordinances, a provision first introduced and later extended as part of various COVID-related legislation. The bill would allow for a city or town to approve requests for the expansion of outdoor table service and allow local licensing authorities to grant expedited approval for the change in description of the restaurant for purposes of permitting outdoor alcohol service.

While many restaurant-goers have benefited from recent extensions of this flexibility, Main Street businesses have also been supported by this allowance, which has strengthened local economies. The current authorizations have been extended through April 1, 2024, and businesses are now looking to make investments in their outdoor dining areas for the spring season. Making this provision permanent will invite municipalities to invest more in the process — creating accessible design standards and templates, improving tracking systems, and further expediting the permitting process. Businesses will also continue to invest in outdoor spaces and patios, bringing in more customers and more tax revenue.

This bill will codify an incredibly popular provision for municipalities, restaurants, and residents across Massachusetts. We respectfully urge the Committee to provide S. 1325 with a favorable report.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Legislative Analyst Ali DiMatteo, at, at any time. We are grateful for your support of local government in the Commonwealth and deeply appreciate your consideration on this important issue.


Adam Chapdelaine
MMA Executive Director and CEO