Business Outdoor Programs
2020 Business Recovery Program
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, City Council approved a series of ordinances between 2020 and 2021 to make permanent several of the emergency business measures allowed on a temporary basis through regulatory waivers in ordinance number 5313 and extended under 5372. It recognized, in its support of a September 2020 Zoning Text Amendment for Business Practical Updates (ZTA2020-00008), the economic benefits for businesses and the low potential for neighborhood impacts associated with easing certain Special Use Permit restrictions for restaurants, such as allowing off-premises alcohol sales and an unlimited number of delivery vehicles through SUP administrative approval. In response to widespread community and business support for the continuation of outdoor dining and retail in on-street parking spaces and on sidewalks, City Council approved a series of Zoning Ordinance and City Code text amendments in October 2021 to permanently close the 100 block of King Street and allow for the uses to operate similarly as permitted through the temporary outdoor programs. Requirements for permanent business use of on-street parking spaces, renamed as commercial parklets, were approved by the Traffic and Parking Board on November 15, 2021.
As the April 1, 2022 temporary program expiration drew near, the business community indicated it could use more time to transition from the temporary business programs to the permanent ones, especially as it expended added effort and financial resources to stay viable during the onset of the Omicron variant. The extension until September 30, 2022, approved in March 2022, aligned with the recently extended date of the City’s declaration of local emergency and provided restaurants and retailers the benefit of more time to submit the necessary applications for permanent programs. In addition to the request for an extension of the business relief expiration date, amendments to the ordinance related to waivers of certain City regulations that are no longer required due to the 2020-2021 ordinances were included, which changed regulatory requirements in the City Code and Zoning Ordinance and made several temporary business relief programs permanently available. After September 30, 2022, businesses were required to transition from the temporary approvals to the permanent programs as outlined above.