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Terraces: the City has waived taxes for 2020 and authorised extensions

In the context of the current health and economic crisis, the Administrative Council has decided to provide tangible assistance to café, restaurant and refreshments stand owners who operate terraces in public areas in the City of Geneva.

The City of Geneva’s Executive Committee has waived collection of the usual taxes levied on the encroachment of terraces until the end of 2020 and has also authorised owners who submit a request to the Public Areas Service (SEP) to extend their terraces. “For us, it is a question of helping these public establishments and acknowledging the role they play as essential operators in the dynamics of our city,” stresses Administrative Councillor Guillaume Barazzone. Furthermore, the Councillor responsible for the Department of Safety and the Urban Environment “hopes that this helping hand will enable them to make it through this difficult period.”

At present, there are more than 1,700 terraces (all types combined) in the public sphere in the City of Geneva. To benefit from an extension, applicants must nevertheless satisfy certain criteria to ensure the diversity of activities and usages in public areas belonging to the municipality, which necessarily remain limited.

Pavement terraces

For pavement terraces, a temporary extension will be authorised if, among other things, the conditions stipulated for the usual authorisations (e.g.: written agreement of the neighbouring arcade, space for pedestrians and unhindered access to building doorways guaranteed and measures taken to anticipate potential inconveniences) are met. As not all establishments will be able to benefit from an extension to their terraces, the increase in surface area cannot exceed 50% of the surface usually authorised, in order to ensure equal treatment for all. The aim of this restriction is also to anticipate potential queues in front of shops due to the social distancing measures.

Terraces on roads

In the event of temporary extensions of terraces on roads, each application will be handled taking account of the configuration of the locations concerned (e.g.: pedestrian zones, meeting areas, 30 kph zones, local roads with low traffic volumes, zones close to a public car park or street where several public establishments are present with a terrace on the road). The aim will be to authorise extensions on roads which cause the least inconvenience for other users of public areas (residents and customers of the shops). For terraces which encroach on car parking spaces, maximum occupancy will be limited to two spaces in blue areas and two spaces in white areas. Use of these parking spaces for terraces is only authorised until 31 October.

As not all establishments can benefit from an extension to their terraces, often due to physical constraints and to maintain a certain equality of treatment between owners, the City will collect a tax on the encroachment resulting (only) from the extension. The amount of this tax will nevertheless be reduced by 50% in relation to the usual price.


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Article modifié le 15.05.2020 à 14:53