Auburn to help restaurants with outdoor seating

On June 19, King County entered into Phase II of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Reopening, which allows restaurants to seat 50 percent of their fire-code-allowed occupancy inside their businesses.

To help Auburn restaurants reopen under the imposed Safe Start Reopening restrictions, the Auburn City Council recently passed an ordinance that temporarily waives right-of-way use permit fees for outside restaurant seating in the public right of way.

For the time being, the city is also waiving temporary use permit fees for seeking outside seating on private property.

As part of the approval process, businesses may be required to mark the outdoor seating area with traffic barricades or other signs, all of which must be obtained, set up and removed at the applicant’s expense.

The State of Washington Liquor and Cannabis board may have further requirements and/or restrictions in addition to any city requirements, which the applicant will be solely responsible for knowing and following.

Auburn’s downtown Business Improvement Area may consider allocating a certain dollar amount that could be distributed equally among those restaurants that want to apply for outdoor seating. The BIA could fund the rental costs through a reimbursement basis for fees associated with the renting, setup and pickup-removal of any required barricades as part of the city’s approval for outdoor seating.

Traffic Management, a local Auburn business specializing in traffic control and management, has the equipment that will be needed as part of the seating delineation.