NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — In the twin cities, outdoor dining could be a permanent fixture at Normal restaurants.

At Thursday’s town planning commission meeting, members proposed to permanently allow outdoor dining at any restaurants in town.

Town planner Mercy Davison said the proposal would allow for restaurants that wish to build outdoor dining spaces from April through October in up to 10% of their private parking lots.

“We heard from a few business owners, from customers and people saying we hope you find a way to allow some of this to continue so definitely being responsive to what we’ve heard from local businesses and constituents,” Davison said.

She said it’s something businesses learned to love in the past two years.

“Outdoor dining really is one of those things that COVID encouraged people to think more about and then people realized they kind of liked it, so yeah this appears to be one of those permanent changes that COVID has brought about,” Davison said.

She said this is separate from the dining in Uptown as most businesses don’t have private lots there.

This proposal will be decided by town council at a future meeting.