In this time of COVID, a number of restaurants are offering outdoor seating.
Courtesy of a recently approved ordinance, the city of Auburn will allow restaurants to keep using them and folks will be able to continue enjoying their meals al fresco until the city enters Phase 4 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.
With appropriate physical distancing requirements, that is.
As city officials note, downtown restaurants do not have enough private property to provide enough area for outdoor seating to meet the distancing requirements and bring in enough customers to make opening worthwhile.
Following talks with stakeholders, however, the city developed minimum requirements to allow restaurants in certain public right-of-way, including sidewalks, parking lanes, and alleys to use them on a temporary basis.
Waiver of the fees allows restaurants already feeling the hurt of COVID-19 to apply for and receive a permit that can help them keep their businesses viable.
The action extends the temporary waiver of the non-refundable permit application fee for right-of-way use permits to temporarily allow outdoor seating for patrons, as city council authorized on June 15.